Updated: Hiker Dies on Great Falls Trail in Potomac

Updated: Hiker Dies on Great Falls Trail in Potomac

Ten other injuries reported in extreme heat

| Published:

Entrance to the Billy Goat Trail section A.

Via Pete Piringer

Updated at 3:25 p.m. on Monday: A Severn woman died after becoming ill on a Great Falls trail on Saturday and 10 other hikers were evaluated after heat-related emergencies, authorities said.

The heat index was near 110 degrees on Saturday afternoon in Montgomery County, with actual temperatures in the mid-90s.

County fire and rescue teams descended on section A of the Billy Goat Trail around 2 p.m. for a report of a hiker who had a medical emergency, spokesman Pete Piringer posted on Twitter.

A U.S. National Park Service helicopter evacuated the patient and took her to a hospital, where she died, Piringer reported.

U.S. Park Police identified the woman as 32-year-old Rachel Parkerson on Monday. Her cause of death was accidental and determined to be the result of hyperthermia, or overheating.

Piringer added that 10 other hikers in the area were evaluated for heat-related problems, with two taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Several people on the trail immediately assisted the hiker who died, administering first aid and directing emergency responders to the scene, Piringer reported.

The C&O Canal closed the Billy Goat Trail section A on Sunday due to extreme heat.

The state Department of Health has reported four heat-related deaths in Maryland this year, though none in Montgomery County as of July 15, before this weekend’s death.

The heat index value will remain in the triple digits on Monday in the county, with the temperature in the low 90s, according to the National Weather Service.

Charlie Wright can be reached at charlie.wright@bethesdamagazine.com

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