A man attempted to save his stepson after he collapsed on a southwest Texas hiking trail due to extremely hot weather conditions.
According to the National Park Service, a 31-year-old man from Florida took his two stepsons, aged 14 and 21, hiking on the Big Bend National Park’s Marufo Vega Trail on Friday.
Unfortunately for the family, Texas has been in the middle of a three week-long heatwave, and temperatures on the trail spiked to 119 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Marufo Vega Trail, which “winds through extremely rugged desert and rocky cliffs,” blazes through the “hottest part” of Big Bend.
The recreational hike went extremely wrong in the later part of Friday, when the 14-year-old got heat sick and lost consciousness.
His stepfather ran back to the car to find help, while the 21-year-old brother attempted to carry the boy to safety.
The park’s Communications Center received an emergency call at 6:00 pm, and dispatched Park Rangers and U.S. Border Patrol Agents to assist.
By the time the team was able to locate the two brothers an hour-and-a-half later, the boy had died on the trail.
They went on to search for the father and made a grim discovery 30 minutes later.
The frantic stepfather had reached his car in the parking lot and attempted to drive to rescue his stepsons.
Along the way, he had driven over an embankment at the Boquillas Overlook and crashed his vehicle.
He was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders, just as his stepson had been a half-hour earlier.
The family’s names were not released to the public, but became the latest victims of Big Bend National Park.
Two hikers died in February an March, respectively, likely due to extreme weather conditions.
A 56-year-old man was hiking with a scout troop on Feb. 18, when he began experiencing chest pains.
He collapsed and fellow hikers performed CPR until park rangers reached them on the Pinnacles Trail with an automated external defibrillator.
He was unable to be revived despite their efforts and died on the scene.
Three weeks later, a 64-year-old woman collapsed on the Hot Springs Canyon Trail in the high heat of the mid-afternoon on March 8.
Park rangers were able to locate her and perform CPR, but she was unable to be resuscitated.
Big Bend National Park officials cautioned that no shade or water along the “strenuous trail” make it a “dangerous” hike to attempt during the excessively hot summer weather.