This is so sad and many people do not understand how dangerous these deserts or even forests can be.
The heat at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico claimed the lives of a French couple hiking the undulating dunes of the Alkali Flat Trail with their 9-year-old son. The mother and father were both overcome by the temperature and died of heat-related illness, collapsing at different points along the trail, the local sheriff said.
According to this CNN Report, David Steiner, 42, and Ornella Steiner, 51, had been hiking in the White Sands National Monument on Tuesday afternoon when they suffered heat exhaustion, detectives confirmed on Saturday.
“They underestimated the severity of nature’s elements,” Otero County Sheriff Detective David Hunter explained.
The mother turned back when she didn’t feel well and died on her way to the car. Unaware she had collapsed, the father and son continued on — but the man, too, became disoriented and then died with the boy at his side, Otero County Sheriff Benny House said.
Though dehydrated, the boy survived. He might not have made it. A sheriff’s deputy who was first called to help the child’s mother found him.
I am sorry for what happened to them. It was a tragic event that is made even more tragic by the fact that it could have been easily prevented. Had they taken the time to look at the conditions, read the signs, research the area, they would have survived.
Nature is unforgiving. We may think we have conquered our environment, but we really haven’t.
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H/T – CNN Report