Missouri hiker dies while hiking in Badlands: SD cops


A 22-year-old man from St. Louis died while hiking on an unmarked trail in Badlands National Park in South Dakota, officials say.

Pennington County Sheriff’s Office

A 22-year-old St. Louis man died while hiking in Badlands National Park on Wednesday, July 20, South Dakota officials said.

Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said Maxwell Right and a companion from Missouri who ran out of water while “on an unmarked trail featured in a social media challenge.”

Right collapsed and died on the track, and officials believe his death was caused by dehydration and exposure.

Her partner, a 21-year-old whose identity has not been publicly disclosed, was airlifted to a Rapid City hospital. He was being treated for exposure and dehydration caused by a lack of water and the hot weather at the park, according to the sheriff.

Temperatures reached 101 degrees Wednesday at Philip Airport, which is near Badlands National Park, according to the National Weather Service.

“The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office reminds the public to stay on marked trails and bring enough supplies when participating in outdoor activities,” the sheriff said in a news release.

Helene Duhamel, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, would not announce details of the social media challenge to The Associated Press, but said “clearly it’s over there.” She advised hikers to carry enough water on the trails.

“I don’t think people understand and they underestimate the heat, especially in the Badlands,” she said.

This story was originally published July 22, 2022 8:57 a.m.

Mike Stunson covers real-time news for McClatchy. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2011 and previously worked at the Paducah Sun and the Madisonville Messenger as a sportscaster and the Lexington Herald-Leader as a breaking news reporter.
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