A hiker collapsed from unknown complications on a trail east of Mecca Thursday, dying while first responders tried to save him.
The “hiker down” call was received at about 1:20 p.m. in an area called Painted Canyon, where the closest intersection is Box Canyon and Painted Canyon roads, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
The agency said the victim, whose identity was not immediately released, was several miles along the Ladder Canyon Trail when he experienced “a medical emergency,” the exact nature of which wasn’t specified.
Several engine crews tried to reach the location by foot to aid the hiker, but due to the distance, a Cal Fire helicopter crew was dispatched for an expedited rescue, officials said.
The crew located and hoisted the man into the chopper, ferrying him to a staging area in Mecca, where an ambulance was waiting. However, he perished during the rescue operation, according to the fire department.
No other details were available, including whether the victim was trying to scale a hill, or whether there were other parties with him.