Authorities have publicly identified a woman who collapsed and died this week while visiting a popular hiking destination near Julian.
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Nathalie Reed, 20, and a friend hiked a trail leading to Three Sisters Falls in Santa Ysabel on Tuesday morning, the Medical Examiner’s Office reported. That afternoon, Reed appeared to become dehydrated and hyperthermic, or overheated.
Eventually, the Lemon Grove resident “stumbled and fell into the bushes along the trail, and a bystander called 911 from an emergency phone on the trail,” according to a statement from the county agency.
Medical personnel and deputies were sent to rescue Reed, and a helicopter airlifted her to the trailhead, sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Galve said. Despite paramedics’ attempts to revive her, she was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m.
Her cause of death is under investigation.
Reed, who was married, died the same day on which the sheriff’s department, Cal Fire and Cleveland National Forest officials released a joint video warning about the potential dangers of hiking at Three Sisters Falls and another popular water hike, Cedar Creek Falls, which are both extra-popular during hot weather.
“With extremely steep slopes (and) a rugged and eroding trail, the (4.2-mile Three Sisters Falls) hike is listed as strenuous to extreme, and is suggested for those in good physical condition,” then-sheriff’s spokesman Ryan Keim explained last summer. “Couple this with extreme summer heat, no shade and rocky, unstable terrain, and many hikers quickly find themselves overwhelmed and under-prepared.”
The 6.6-mile hike to Cedar Creek Falls in Ramona is considered moderate to strenuous, provides no shade and is completely uphill on the way out, Keim said.
In 2016, rescuers responded to 51 calls of distressed hikers at Three Sisters Falls and Cedar Creek Falls.
–City News Service
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