It’s a beautiful day. I think I’ll take a stroll in the desert.
Two tourists, a French couple, hiking the dunes of the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico with their 9-year-old son died from the heat. The boy survived. The mother and father were both overcome by the desert temperature and died of heat-related illness, collapsing at different points along the trail, the local sheriff said.
“Once hikers get into the dunes there is no shade, no cover. You are out exposed to the sun, the wind, scorching heat, and the reflection of the sun off the white sand. It's a harsh desert environment."
On the White Sands National Monument website, the Park Service warns visitors that the absence of experience with desert hiking can be fatal.
Officials said that the couple underestimated the harsh conditions. .