Family mourns over New Jersey man’s death while hiking in Arizona


It has been a hot and at times dangerous summer on the Arizona trails, and three weeks after a New Jersey man died while hiking the Black Mesa Trail in the Tonto National Forest, a family s ‘Express.

Zoey Russomano’s trip to Arizona with Chris Dyer was what Russomano called the start of their life together. Russomano and Dyer started hiking the nine mile trail at 7:00 am on September 4th.

“The morning of the hike was completely normal other than the fact that we got lost,” Russomano said.

The couple made it to the top, but Dyer collapsed nearly two miles from the parking lot.

“I didn’t know what happened to him because he had just collapsed, so I left my phone, which contained the trail map with him, in case he woke up and couldn’t. finding his way back, and I picked up his phone, which didn’t have the trail information, ”Russomano said.“ At that point, I was just following the trail for help, but I was am lost. “

Three hours later, a random man found Russomano. At this point, she was under a rock, tired, dehydrated, eating cactus to hydrate herself and crying for help.

“He started walking towards me, and I saw him and I ran towards him just as fast with all the rest of my energy,” Russomano said.

Russomano said she tried to call 911 on several occasions, but the calls were not made.

Nearly 12 hours after the couple began the hike, officials from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said rescuers found Dyer.

In the valley, similar incidents have prompted City of Phoenix officials to close popular trails, like Camelback and Piestewa, when temperatures hit 105F.

According to Phoenix Fire officials, the number of mountain rescues is on the decline.

“Ee hope he continues to protect hikers and rescuers,” Phoenix Fire Captain Rob McDade said.

“I don’t want to be angry,” said Dyer’s mother Laura Dyer. “I just want to save someone else from heartache. He was healthy, happy, healthy, happy, young and strong boy. A man. It shouldn’t have happened.”

Russomano said she wanted to thank the man who she said saved her life.

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