On Wednesday, July 20, two friends from Missouri visited the Badlands National Park in South Dakota for a hike.
The pair apparently saw a social media challenge involving an unmarked park trail and decided to try it out themselves.
Sadly, though, the two young men ended up stuck in one hundred and eight-degree heat after running out of water.
Maxwell Right, a twenty-two-year-old from St. Louis, Missouri, eventually collapsed and passed away from dehydration.
His friend, a twenty-one-year-old male who has not been named, was able to be reached by Park Rangers.
He was airlifted to Monument Health, where he was being watched for dehydration and exposure following the incident, according to a press release posted on Facebook by the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.
The tragedy comes as nationwide temperatures continue to blaze upward, with the Badlands experiencing record-high temperatures. That region is also known for spotty cell service and zero water accessibility.
In turn, hikers are being advised to remain vigilant. Helene Duhamel, the Sheriff’s office spokeswoman, underscored this sentiment.
“We have said many times that you have to have enough water, water, water. But I do not think people understand, and they underestimate the heat– especially in the Badlands,” Duhamel said.
Pennington County Sheriff’s Office