A woman died on Wednesday after collapsing while hiking in the San Bernardino National Forest east of Anza.
The “hiker down” call was received at 11:30 a.m. on the Pacific Crest Trail, near Highway 74, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
The hiker, whose name and age was not immediately released, was with another trekker when she passed out, possibly while struggling to catch her breath, on a day when the mercury reached 100 degrees by noon.
The victim’s companion called 911, and firefighters were sent to the area but could not find an access point to reach the pair. A sheriff’s helicopter crew was summoned and initiated a search, locating the unconscious hiker and her friend shortly afternoon, but she died before the crew could ferry them to a makeshift landing zone adjacent to the highway, according to fire officials.
The other hiker suffered unspecified injuries and was taken by ambulance to a hospital in the Coachella Valley.
The incident occurred on the same day that another hiker was rescued in the San Bernardino Mountains after becoming lost at the summit of San Gorgonio Peak on Sunday. Peggy Faulk, 64, of Houston, spent three days lost in the mountains amid the heatwave until a search and rescue volunteer found her on Wednesday.