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Deep Creek Hot Springs

The Moon is Waning Gibbous (96% of Full)



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June 20, 2003 10:55AM
I feel it is only appropreate to update yesterdays story, from the Las Vegas Review- Journal. Friday ( no pun intended ), June 20. HEATSTROKE KILLED HIKERS, OFFICALS SAY --- one found incoherent. unable to take water --- by K.C.Howard--- The two hikers found dead on a Gold Strik Canyon trail suffered mentally and physically before heatstroke claimed their lives, authorities said Thursday. A mile from help, the two men were naked and would have been unable to help themselves or accept the aid of the two hikers who found them Wednesday, investigators said. The symptoms of heatsroke had rendered the victims incoherent and defenseless against their rising body tempertures. "I don't know if they could feel anything, but it's not a pretty sight." said Las Vegas Police Search and Rescue Sgt. Clint Bassett. " The Park Service calls this desert psychosis." The Clark County coroners's office identified Ladd Farrell Wilkins, 53, of Las Vegas as one of the hikers found dead, a mile from the start of the populer Hoover Dam trail and the Hacienda Hotel on U.S. Highway 93. National Park Service officals said the two men appeared to have suffered from heatstroke before collapsing on the trail. The coroner did not release the other hiker's identification, pending notification of his family. The offical cause of death for both hikers remained undetermined. Investigators think the two men came from nearby hot springs and had hiked about a mile uphill, halfway to the trail head, when they began to suffer heatstroke symptoms. Two hikers came upon a naked body on the trail about 1 p.m. and found the other unclothed man screaming hysterically and incoherent, Park Service officals said. "As your body is shutting down, and your dying from either hypo- or hyper- conditions, the brain starts sending bad messages," Bassett said. The hikers offered bottled water to the man, but Bassett said he knocked it out of the hikers's hands, mumbling to himself in the late stages of heatstroke. "He was thrashing around and just swinging his arms." Bassett said. "He had no control of his body or his brain. If his eyes had started to dry out, he may not have been able to see." Whether Wilkins was alive was unclear. The hikers returned about 45 minutes later and found both men dead. Attempts to interview the hikers who found the men were unsccessful. How long the victims had been on the trail before heatstroke symptoms occurred was unclear. Park rangers found Wilkins truck at the trail parking lot, with a Park Service parking permit bought May 27 and expiring June 3. The Clark County coroner's office attributed 26 deaths to heat stress in 2002 and two this year, not including Wilkins and the other hiker. Heatstroke occurs when the body can no longer cool itself through sweat in hot temperatures and can kill in 20 to 30 minuets, Bassett said. Blood pulls away from the heart and brain, causing irreversible brain damage. Park Service officials said the deaths should remind hikers to carry plenty of water, avoid hiking midday in the summer and tell a friend where they plan to hike and what time they expect to return. Once heatstroke occurs, Bassett said, to reverse the symptoms and prevent death is difficult. Should heatstroke occur on a trail, he said, hickers should give the victim water and shade and cool the large veins in the armpits and thighs.


jobe 4731June 19, 2003 12:25PM


jobe 6141June 20, 2003 10:55AM

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