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Officials: Stepfather, stepson dead after hiking in extreme heat at Big Bend National Park

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas — A man and his stepson died Friday after hiking in extreme heat at Big Bend National Park in Texas, officials say.

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In a news release, the National Park Service said on Friday around 6 p.m., the Big Bend National Park Communication Center got a call for emergency assistance on the Marufo Vega Trail. Park rangers learned that a stepfather and two stepsons who were visiting from Florida, were hiking in extreme heat.

The National Park Service said the temperature around 6 p.m. that day was about 119 degrees Fahrenheit.

The youngest of the stepsons was 14 years old and he got sick along the trail. He lost consciousness. The stepfather, 31, hiked back to get their car in order to get help as the other brother, 21, tried to carry his brother back, the park service said, according to KENS.

Park rangers and U.S. Border Patrol agents reached the scene around 7:30 p.m., The Associated Press reported. The 14-year-old was found deceased, the park service said.

The park service and U.S. Border Patrol agents started to search for the stepfather, KENS reported.

Around 8 p.m., a car was found after it crashed into an embankment at the Boquillas Overlook, the park service said. The stepfather was in that car and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Marufo Vega Trail winds through extremely rugged desert and rocky cliffs within the hottest part of Big Bend National Park. No shade or water makes this strenuous trail dangerous to attempt in the heat of summer. Big Bend is currently experiencing extreme heat with daily highs reaching 110-119 F at low elevations and along the Rio Grande,” the park service said.

The names of the victims and causes of death have not yet been released, the AP reported.

The incident is under investigation.