Motorcyclist dies from heat exposure in Death Valley amid record temperatures

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) — A motorcyclist died Saturday from heat exposure while visiting Death Valley National Park, where temperatures reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit over the weekend.

A high temperature of 128 F (53.3 C) was recorded in the park on Saturday and Sunday. The motorcyclist was part of a group of six riding through the Badwater Basin area amid scorching weather, the park said in a statement.

The person who died has not been identified. A motorcyclist was taken to a Las Vegas hospital for “severe heat illness,” the statement said. Due to the high temperatures, emergency medical helicopters were unable to respond, as aircraft generally cannot safely fly above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.8 degrees Celsius), officials said.

The other four members of the party were treated at the scene.

“While this is a very exciting time to experience the potentially world-record-breaking temperatures in Death Valley, we encourage visitors to choose their activities carefully and not spend extended periods of time outside an air-conditioned vehicle or building in such high temperatures,” said Park Manager Mike Reynolds.

Officials warn that heat, illness and injuries are cumulative and can build up over a day or days.

“In addition to the inability to cool down while riding due to the high ambient temperatures, exploring Death Valley by motorcycle in such hot conditions is also difficult, and you must wear heavy safety gear to minimize injuries in the event of an accident,” the park said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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