Motorcyclist dies from heat exposure in Death Valley amid record-breaking temps

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Monday, July 8, 2024
Motorcyclist dies from heat exposure in Death Valley; 5 others treated
A motorcyclist died from heat exposure Saturday while visiting Death Valley National Park as the temperature there reached 128 degrees this weekend.

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A motorcyclist died from heat exposure Saturday while visiting Death Valley National Park as the temperature there reached 128 degrees this weekend.

A high temperature of 128 F (53.3 C) was recorded Saturday and Sunday at the park. The motorcyclist was a part of a group of six riding through the Badwater Basin area amid scorching weather, the park said in a statement.

The person who died was not identified. One motorcyclist was transported to a Las Vegas hospital for "severe heat illness," the statement said. Due to the high temperatures, emergency medical helicopters were unable to respond, as the aircraft cannot generally fly safely over 120 F (48.8 C), officials said.

The other four members of the party were treated at the scene.

"While this is a very exciting time to experience potential world record setting temperatures in Death Valley, we encourage visitors to choose their activities carefully, avoiding prolonged periods of time outside of an air-conditioned vehicle or building when temperatures are this high," said park Superintendent Mike Reynolds.

Officials warned that heat illness and injury are cumulative and can build over the course of a day or days.

"Besides not being able to cool down while riding due to high ambient air temperatures, experiencing Death Valley by motorcycle when it is this hot is further challenged by the necessary heavy safety gear worn to reduce injuries during an accident," the park statement said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.