Norcal family found dead

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thecow
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Re: Norcal family found dead

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JChitwood
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by JChitwood »

Seems strange they were found so close together if it was heat especially the dog. Surely one of the adults or the dog would have continued on after the others succumbed. And it appears this trail was near or by a river. Why didn’t they cool off in the water? Too many questions for me. Both the adults and the dog couldn’t have all gone down at once.
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nyker
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by nyker »

yea sounds strange.
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painless4u2
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by painless4u2 »

nyker wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:41 am yea sounds strange.
Not really. Just this past June, 2 people died of heat exposure in Grand Canyon. It's not hard to envision both adults in this incidence becoming dizzy and disoriented, stopping to rest and succumbing to heat. The dog may have simply remained by them and was affected as well.
I was in a small group hiking in the summer in Guadalupe Mountains during excessive heat and no shade. We were bushwhacking in a remote area which took much longer than we anticipated and ran out of water. We were trying to reach a known water source not too far away, but had to stop and rest for a while, experiencing all the symptoms of heat stress. It could have easily ended badly, but we were able to finally reach water after a great deal of effort. Many lessons were learned on that trip.
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onebyone
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by onebyone »

JChitwood wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:17 am Seems strange they were found so close together if it was heat especially the dog. Surely one of the adults or the dog would have continued on after the others succumbed. And it appears this trail was near or by a river. Why didn’t they cool off in the water? Too many questions for me. Both the adults and the dog couldn’t have all gone down at once.

According to the official report, they hiked down 2,000 feet to a river and succumbed on the way back up, about 1.5 miles from the trail head. Apparently little shade the entire way. I don't know why anyone would hike down 2,000 feet knowing you had to hike back up 2,000 feet with a baby on your back when it would certainly be way hotter . As far as dogs go, dog rescues are more common than people rescues it seems. Dogs can go down quickly in heat.

My only guess is that on the way back up, one of them went down with heat exhaustion. They probably tried to stay in one place hoping another hiker would come along and go for help and they succumbed one by one when no one showed up.

But I agree, this is one of the strangest stories I have ever heard. Two adults, a baby and a dog all dying in the same spot from heat. And on a trail. It wasn't like they were wondering around lost off trail.
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summit2sea
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by summit2sea »

After reading the report I immediately came here to see if any of our SAR folks have heard of that many going down in one spot at the same time due to hyperthermia. We had issues at times in the Marines with one or two going down at a time (thankfully had a corpsman/doc on hand to treat immediately). The other thing that stood out was the temp started at 70 but got as high as 107-109 and a previous fire cleared out most cover. Either way, I hope the revelation of the cause might give a little closure to friends and family.
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madbuck
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by madbuck »

JChitwood wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:17 am Seems strange they were found so close together if it was heat especially the dog. Surely one of the adults or the dog would have continued on after the others succumbed. And it appears this trail was near or by a river. Why didn’t they cool off in the water? Too many questions for me. Both the adults and the dog couldn’t have all gone down at once.
Playing it through in my mind, if something happened to the baby first, it wouldn't be unlikely at all for both parents to have zero motivation to continue. You would just be leveled with grief in an already compromised situation.

I had also thought of how consequential it can get if your water spills or leaks. Indeed, I did read in another article that they had a water bladder and a bottle of formula. If you spill or drop that formula, or take significantly longer than you thought, it's going to be uncomfortable for the baby, especially on a hot day being carried close to the body. The dog of course also is sadly close to the ground where the temps are highest on a 109-degree day.

They were no longer by the river where they perished, where it also got hotter and steeper. I am perplexed by the empty water plus no toxins in the adults. I don't know about you guys, but when I've been a bit thin on water on very hot days, but passing a water source, I'll fill up for emergencies and deal with longer-term risks later. Then again, perhaps they even knew about the algae and didn't want to risk the baby drinking any, and instead tried to keep cool by dousing with water but hurried back up to the car. If things are getting hotter and "worse" you could see trying to hurry back to the car (but that's also away from the river).

So as strange as the 4 deaths in one place would seem, if it's a tragedy that struck the baby first (or maybe the dog needed help and then the baby got worse), it could make tragic sense. Very sad.
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Alpine Guy
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by Alpine Guy »

I won't even begin to guess what caused this tragedy, but I had a run-in with heat stress illness (I do not know the technical definition) 20yrs ago and I'm glad to have survived. I did a mtb race in East TN and camped out that night - didn't drink enough water and did have a few beers to celebrate a fun race. The next day I set out on a simple 3-4 mile (one way) hike dropping about 800ft to a waterfall. I knew something was up when I went through all my water long before reaching the falls, even though the morning air was cool. The hike down had been easy but once I turned around my heart rate immediately max'd out. I couldn't manage more than a zombie pace and even then had to stop every 10min or so to get my heart rate back down. By that time the TN sun and humidity were adding to the misery. I don't know at what point the situation would have taken a turn for the worse but I was incredibly happy to see my truck - I doubt I could have done another 1000ft. I can tell you that, no matter how strong you are, when your radiator runs dry it will bring you to your knees. And oddly enough, even drinking cool creek water doesn't make an immediate difference, as I assume it takes time to move that water from your stomach into blood plasma.

I hope their families can take some comfort knowing they didn't die alone.
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by Salient »

Phill the Thrill wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:31 am Wow, that NorCal incident is just so strange.

Makes you wonder if maybe they were using a stove in their tent and got CO2 poisoning?
I’ve seen some sources show that CO2 poisoning has been ruled out and so has foul play. Maybe some supernatural force or satanic ritual caused this 🤔
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by Salient »

Salient wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 8:16 pm
Phill the Thrill wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:31 am Wow, that NorCal incident is just so strange.

Makes you wonder if maybe they were using a stove in their tent and got CO2 poisoning?
I’ve seen some sources show that CO2 poisoning has been ruled out and so has foul play. Maybe some supernatural force or satanic ritual caused this 🤔
I feel like I should amend this, I mean no disrespect to the family with this post and send all condolences to their loved ones.
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timstich
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by timstich »

Lightning strike seems like the most likely culprit. Over 300 reindeer were killed by lightning in Norway once. Bolts can strike long distances from storms as well. It's also possible to find victims without the spider web burns and other telltale signs of a lightning strike.

Whatever this is, I hope they determine the cause soon. Very sad to hear about this.
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Re: Norcal family found dead

Post by Wentzl »

Shorter of Breath and One Day Closer . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjEdbuCu6IY
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