KANE COUNTY – A 27-year-old Arizona woman hiking The Wave died Monday from suspected heat-related complications.
According to a press release from Kane County Emergency Services, at around 2 p.m., Monday, Kane County Dispatch received a call that Elisabeth Ann Bervel, of of Mesa, Ariz., required medical attention due to possible heat exhaustion. She had been hiking The Wave with her husband, Anthony Bervel, who made the call to dispatch.
Emergency responders were flown in by helicopter and Elisabeth Ann Bervel was located a half-mile from the Wire Pass trailhead. She was in cardiac arrest at this point and, despite administering CPR, responders were unable to revive her. Elisabeth Ann Bervel was pronounced deceased. Her body was taken to a local mortuary under the direction of the Kane County Sheriff and will also be examined at the state’s Office of the Medical Examiner in Salt Lake City.
Though heat-induced complications are suspected to play a part in the death, the incident is still under investigation.
The Bervels started their hike into The Wave at 8 a.m., Monday. On the way back they lost sight of the trail a number of times and spent additional hours out in the heat finding their way back toward their car. The heat, combined with hiking though the sand, “took their toll on Elisabeth and her legs finally gave out and she could go no farther,” the county’s statement said.
Anthony Bervel kept hiking until his mobile phone picked up a signal and he called for help.
The Bervels had spent seven months planning for the hike as a part of their fifth wedding anniversary, the press release stated. The couple’s two sons, ages 4 and 5, were with family in Arizona at the time of the incident.
Earlier this month, a California couple was also caught in the heat while hiking The Wave and passed away.
“This event once again demonstrates the inherent risks associated with hiking in Southern Utah’s desert country this time of year,” Kane County Emergency Services noted in its release, and added: “This makes four hiking-related deaths this summer in Kane County. Three of those deaths have been in close proximity on the trail to the wave, and the fourth occurring at another popular hiking spot off of the Hole in the Rock Road south of Escalante, Utah.”
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