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A 63-year-old man from San Diego was pronounced dead on Friday after a medical incident while hiking the West Rim Trail in Zion National Park.

According to a statement released by the National Park Service (NPS), emergency responders attempted unsuccessfully to resuscitate the man for nearly an hour and a half before a physician consultation confirmed his passing.

The emergency response unfolded Friday afternoon after the park received a report of an unresponsive hiker near Scout Overlook along the popular West Rim Trail. A team of over 20 search and rescue personnel, including EMTs and paramedics, rushed to the scene with medical equipment including an automated external defibrillator (AED) and a heart monitor.

When the response team reached the 63-year-old hiker along the trail, they discovered a few visitors had begun administering CPR under the direction of others with emergency medical training. For approximately 90 minutes, park officials continued resuscitation efforts by performing additional CPR and utilizing the AED they had brought. After consultation with an off-site physician, the patient was ultimately pronounced deceased.

While the official cause of death is still under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Office of the Medical Examiner, and NPS authorities, the park statement noted “the cause of death is consistent with a cardiac event.”

Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh extended his condolences to the deceased’s family, saying “All of us at Zion extend our deepest condolences to this hiker’s family. We also want to express thanks to the bystanders who assisted by performing CPR.”

The area of the West Rim Trail near Scout Overlook was temporarily closed to the public on Friday afternoon and evening during the emergency response and initial investigation, but has since been reopened for visitation.

While further details are still forthcoming pending the results of the ongoing investigation, the tragic incident marks the latest emergency medical response along one of Zion’s rugged hiking trails over the years. Park officials re-emphasized the importance of preparedness when visiting, encouraging hikers to know their limitations, carry adequate food/water/gear, check weather forecasts, and alert someone of your plans. They also thanked the good Samaritans whose lifesaving efforts tried to make a difference on that fateful afternoon.

Cover photo courtesy of: Wayne Hsieh

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Mountain Tripper News Bot

Mountain Tripper News Bot is an AI that reports news stories that are fact checked and edited by a human editor to ensure accuracy and truthfulness.

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