Father crashes car, dies after stepson fatally collapses at Big Bend National Park

Big Bend is currently experiencing extreme heat with daily highs reaching 110-119 F at low elevations and along the Rio Grande

View along the Hot Springs Canyon Trail (Big Bend National Park)

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas – A father was killed in a car crash while attempting to get help for his stepson, who collapsed and died at Big Bend National Park Friday afternoon, according to a press release.

Big Bend National Park’s Communication Center received a call requesting emergency assistance at 6 p.m. Friday along the Marufo Vega Trail.

National Park Services said a father and his two stepsons, 14 and 21, were hiking in 119-degree heat when the teenage boy felt sick and lost consciousness.

The dad left the scene, hiked back to their car to find help, and the 21-year-old son tried to carry his brother back to the trailhead.

At 7:30 p.m., a team of Park Rangers and U.S. Border Patrol Agents found the 14-year-old deceased along the trail.

The 31-year-old father was also found dead in his crashed car shortly after, at 8:30 p.m. over the embankment at Boquillas Overlook.

Park officials said the Marurfo Vega Trail winds through extremely rugged desert and rocky cliffs within the hottest part of Big Bend National Park with no water or shade posed dangers to visitors.

About the Author:

Victoria Lopez is a Digital Journalist at KSAT. Before joining the team in July 2022, she worked as a Digital Reporter at CBS 4 Rio Grande Valley and Local 23 News. Victoria graduated with a degree in Mass Communications — Public Relations from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.