Phoenix visitor died on South Mountain Sunday - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

Phoenix visitor died on South Mountain Sunday

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Posted: Monday, September 12, 2011 3:22 pm | Updated: 9:04 am, Thu Sep 15, 2011.

A visit from another state turned deadly Sunday when a man and his friend ran out of water and got lost while hiking on South Mountain.

The Phoenix Fire Department got a call at about 12:40 p.m. Sunday that two 31-year-old men were lost on South Mountain, Capt. Scott Walker of the Phoenix Fire Department said.

The men were apparently visiting from Missouri for the Arizona State football game. They decided to go hiking Sunday morning. The two headed out on the trail around 9 a.m. with some water and a map of the area. Walker said around 11 a.m. the men apparently ran out of water and became lost.

"At some point just before 12:30 one of the individuals became ill and started vomiting and not acting appropriate to his friend that was with him," Walker said. "His friend called 911 and crews were dispatched to find them."

Walker said the men were pretty far back in the park. Crews were able to locate them and, at that time, one of the men was not breathing and had no pulse.

Crews began to try to resuscitate the man but Walker said their efforts were not effective. The decision was made to stop resuscitation efforts and work to rescue the other man, who was also suffering from heat exhaustion.

A helicopter lifted the man to a landing zone where he was given fluids and some food. The man began to feel better and was not taken to a hospital. His friend's body was flown out next and handed over to a coroner, Walker said.

"Unfortunately, this was a tough lesson for everyone to learn that you really need to make sure you're not hiking over your ability or over your fitness level," Walker said. "Make sure you have enough water. Make sure you are familiar with where you are going, have maps and have an emergency plan if something happens so you know what to do to help yourself. This situation, if these people had called earlier it might have had a different outcome. Unfortunately, they waited too long and the injuries from the heat were too dire."

It was unknown exactly what part of the mountain the men were in.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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