Woman dies of heat-related causes in Death Valley

The second heat-related death of the summer occurred over the weekend at Death Valley National Park.

The body of Pi-Wei Hung, 40, was discovered five miles away from her vehicle Sunday. The apparent heat-caused death occurred near the area where the another person died in June, on an unpaved section of Harry Wade Road, located in the southern end of the park.

On Sunday just after 1 p.m. deputies from the Barstow Sheriff’s Station responded to a report of a missing person in the area of Old Spanish Trail near Baker, California.

The Baker Sheriff’s station said that they were told that Hung was driving from Las Vegas to Fort Irwin, California and had not been heard from since Aug. 27 while in the Charleston View area of Inyo County.

Personnel from San Bernardino County, Inyo County, Fort Irwin National Training Center and the NPS took part in the search for Hung. The search included the use of two helicopters.

At around 2:30 p.m. Hung’s vehicle was discovered along Harry Wade Road, where it appeared that she had gotten the vehicle stuck in the loose sand in the bern while attempting to turn around, NPS said.

The park service said that Hung walked about five miles away from her vehicle and her body was fond at approximately 4:57 p.m Sunday.

According to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s office Hung passed away from heat exposure, and the recorded high that day was 113 degrees.

On June 9, Reinhard Egger, 60, a German citizen, passed away from overheating while driving his motorcycle on Harry Wade Road. The high temperature was 118 degrees the day he died.

The National Park Service warns visitors that summer temperature can escalate quickly and turn into a life threatening situation. With cell phone service scarce in Death Valley, travelers are safer staying on paved roads, frequently traveled by other visitors.

“Visitors and area residents are advised to always carry plenty of water in their vehicle,” NPS said in a release. “If a vehicle becomes disabled, travelers should wait with their vehicle until assistance arrives.

“The vehicle provides shade and makes it easier to be found.”

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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