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3 hikers die in incidents in Utah, Arizona over holiday weekend

3-hikers-die-in-incidents-in-utah,-arizona-over-holiday-weekend
Utah County Sheriff’s Office

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) — Three hikers died and several were injured over the holiday weekend in Arizona and Utah. Several hikers in Arizona suffered heat exhaustion as excessive heat gripped the West Coast.

A hiker in their 20s died and five others suffered heat emergencies while hiking a trail in Cave Creek, Arizona, Wednesday after running out of water and getting lost on the trails, according to the Scottsdale Fire Department.

The hikers, who were all locals, were removed from the trails by helicopter after emergency responders discovered they were about 4.5 miles from the trailhead, a representative from the fire department told ABC News.

The hiker who died was taken to a local hospital where he died due to heat stroke. The five injured hikers were given fluids and treated on the scene for about an hour before being cleared, according to the fire department.

Also in Arizona, a backpacker was reported dead in Grand Canyon National Park Sunday at around 7:30 p.m. local time. The backpacker has been identified as 59-year-old Delphine Martinez, who was on a multi-day trip, according to the National Park Service.

Martinez was hiking down the Thunder River Trail on Sunday when she became disoriented and later unconscious. Trip members tried to resuscitate Martinez, but were unsuccessful, according to NPS. NPS and the Coconino County Medical Examiner are investigating Martinez’s death and have not released any additional information.

According to the National Park Service, temperatures in the inner canyon were over 100 degrees, with the high temperature at Phantom Ranch around 115 degrees. Park rangers at Grand Canyon National Park advised visitors against hiking in the inner canyon during the heat of the day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., saying the heat can cause “serious health risks including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hyponatremia and death,” according to the National Park Service.

Separately, a 45-year-old hiker in Utah fell to their death Saturday after going missing while climbing near the mouth of the American Fork Canyon, the Utah County Sheriff’s office said in a statement.

The man, identified as Thomas James Rawe, texted a friend asking him to pick him up near the canyon in 45 minutes. Rawe was hiking or climbing in the area and was on his way down. He sent a picture showing the the steep terrain and the fee booth where the two were supposed to meet up.

At the agreed upon time, the friend arrived and Rawe did not. Rawe had said his phone battery was at 1%, so the friend was not initially surprised to not hear from Rawe, according to the sheriff’s office.

At around 9 p.m. local time, deputies with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a man missing while climbing near the canyon. The Utah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team responded and searched for a couple of hours, but because the terrain is dangerous, they called off the operation for the night. They returned early Sunday morning and called for assistance from the Utah Department of Public Safety and one of their helicopters, according to the sheriff’s office.

A helicopter crew member found what they suspected was the body of Rawe on a very steep, rocky slope, shortly after arriving. A Search and Rescue team member was then flown to the area to confirm the body was Rawe and that he was dead. Another volunteer was then flown to the area to secure the body from falling further down the mountain before it was prepared and hoisted to a nearby parking lot by the DPS helicopter crew, according to officials.

While officials are unsure what caused the fall, they said it is likely he “lost his footing or stumbled, then fell and tumbled several hundred feet down the steep slope.”

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