Doctor dead after group runs out of water, got lost at a trail near Cave Creek

Officials in Arizona have identified the hiker who died from heat exhaustion on Monday as 32-year-old Dr. Evan Dishion. (Source: Arizona's Family)
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 4:37 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 6, 2022 at 4:53 PM MST
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CAVE CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A doctor has died after a group of hikers ran out of water and got lost at a trail near Cave Creek Monday afternoon. Around 1:30 p.m., Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call for possible heat exhaustion at the Spur Cross Trailhead. Deputies and firefighters arrived, and six people were flown to safety. Deputies say 32-year-old Dr. Evan Dishion was taken to the hospital, but later died. Officials say the five other hikers didn’t need to be taken to the hospital and are expected to be OK.

Dishion was a first-year resident at Barrow Neurological Institute. The company released a statement following Dishion’s death.

We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Dr. Evan Dishion. Dr. Dishion was a bright and gifted physician who had recently begun his first year as a neurology resident at Barrow Neurological Institute. He was a kind and generous person who made it his mission and passion to improve the lives of others. We extend our deepest sympathy and prayers to Dr. Dishion’s family, friends and colleagues during this time of mourning.

Capt. Dave Folio with Scottsdale Fire says the group was about four miles in on the trail when they got lost and their phones died.

Capt. Dave Folio with Scottsdale Fire says the group was about four miles in on the trail when they ran out of water and got lost. He added their phones were dead, and they had to borrow someone else’s phone to call 911. Folio is warning others the Arizona heat is not something to mess with.

“When we got out on that trail, the temperature on the asphault alone was reading 127 off of our truck. I think it was 109 outside, so it was extreme heat. They should have been off the trail three or four hours ago,” Folio said shortly after the rescue. “Have a plan, know your limitations. That’s the message we are trying to get out.”

Folio is reminding hikers to bring plenty of water if they plan on hitting the trails. “If you get to half your water, we’re asking people to turn around and go back to the trailhead,” he explained.

The National Weather Service reports much of Arizona is still under an excessive heat warning. Arizona’s Family meteorologists say temperatures were near 110 degrees when the group was hiking in the Cave Creek area. The NWS says you should stay hydrated even if you aren’t thirsty, and if you aren’t feeling well, get inside or find shade. Scottsdale Fire is warning hikers to plan their hike carefully, bring plenty of water and know how to identify heat exhaustion.

Unlike several Phoenix hiking trails that close under an excessive heat warning, the trails in Scottsdale are open. Last summer, the City of Phoenix Parks and Rec Department ran a two-and-a-half-month pilot program shutting down some hiking trails when Excessive Heat Warnings were issued. In October, the program was made permanent.

Folio confirmed Dishion died from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.