Heat is believed to be the cause of a woman's death at Death Valley National Park recently.
A search on Sunday by multiple agencies concluded when a woman’s body was found 5 miles from her vehicle. It appears that this is the second heat-caused fatality in Death Valley National Park. Both fatalities were in the southern end of the park near the unpaved Harry Wade Road.
On Sunday around 1:11 p.m., deputies from the Barstow Sheriff's Station responded to a report of a missing person in the area of Old Spanish Trail near Baker, California.
Pi-Wei Hung, 40, was driving from Las Vegas to Fort Irwin, California. Hung had not been heard from since Saturday around 1:10 p.m., when she was in the Charleston View area of Inyo County, near the California-Nevada stateline.
Personnel from San Bernardino County, Inyo County, Fort Irwin National Training Center, and the National Park Service, along with two helicopters, responded to the remote area to search for Hung. At 2:30 p.m., Hung's vehicle was found along Harry Wade Road. It appears that she may have gotten the vehicle stuck in loose sand in the berm while attempting to turn around.
Hung walked about 5 miles, away from the road. Her body was found at approximately 4:57 p.m. It appeared Hung passed away from heat exposure, according to the San Bernardino County coroner’s office. The day’s high temperature was 113 degrees.
This is the second heat-related fatality in Death Valley National Park this summer. On Thursday, June 9, park visitors found a deceased motorcyclist on Harry Wade Road. Reinhard Egger, 60, was a German citizen. The man’s motorcycle was parked upright and was still functional. According to Inyo County Coroner’s Office, Egger died from overheating. It was 118 degrees that day.