ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis man dies while hiking in Badlands National Park in South Dakota Wednesday.
Badlands National Park is a popular hiking spot for tourists. The temperatures at the park have been near 100 degrees every day this week. The area has little or no shade.
The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office in Rapid City, South Dakota said 22-year-old Maxwell Right was hiking on an unmarked trail when he collapsed and died. A 21-year-old man from Missouri was hiking with Right and he was hospitalized.
A Washington University Emergency Medicine specialist in St. Louis said they recommended drinking water while hiking or prolonged any outdoor activity in extreme heat.
“Actually, the more active you are the quicker that these symptoms can develop,” said Jamie Kondis, Washington University Pediatric Emergency Medicine specialist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “Paying attention to your own temperature for kids and adults can develop a mild fever fee with heat exhaustion like a 100 or 102, but if its progressing higher than that you could be progressing toward heat stroke.”
The sheriff’s department said the men were on a trail that was featured in a social media challenge and ran out of water, but the department did not say if the men were participating in the challenge.
However, the friends of the Right family contacted FOX 2 stating the men were not involved in a social media challenge. They said it was a tragic accident and had nothing to do with social media.
Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and Badlands National Park law enforcement are investigating the death of Right.