Man dies in heat while hiking AZ mountain trail - Tucson News Now

UPDATE

Man dies in heat while hiking AZ mountain trail

White Tank Mountains (Source: CBS 5 News) White Tank Mountains (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A 21-year-old hiker collapsed and died Sunday while hiking a difficult trail in the White Tank Mountains, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Justin William Rodriguez and two friends were hiking Ford Canyon Trail, a 10-mile loop and one of the more challenging hikes in the park when he complained of not feeling well and that his legs "would not work."

The group was nearing the end of a four-hour hike on a day when the heat in Phoenix reached 109 degrees, missing a record high for the day by one degree, according to the National Weather Service.

Phoenix was also under an excessive heat warning Sunday.

Rodriguez's friends gave him water, but he began cramping, collapsed and passed out. His friends administered CPR until medics arrived.

Rodriguez died about 12:30 p.m., before he could be airlifted to a hospital. Deputies said two of the hikers were familiar with the trail and that the group had a good amount of water. However, investigators said the victim wasn't dressed appropriately.

"I think the most important thing coming out on these hikes is do your research," said MCSO Deputy Joaquin Enriquez. "Do your homework. Know where you're going and absolutely wear the right attire. Our victim here was wearing black jeans pants and a T-shirt."

Rodriguez, of Goodyear, was attending Northern Arizona University, according to the West Valley View, a content partner of cbs5az.com.

Deputies said this time of year using good judgment is key before heading outdoors.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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