A 49-Year-Old Man Dies After Backpacking In Big Bend National Park

By Mitch Borden

Over the weekend, a hiker in Big Bend National Park died of an apparent heart attack while exploring the park with friends, according to park officials.

William Brunson, a 49-year-old from New Braunfels, was backpacking on the 14-mile Marufo Vega Trail on Saturday, Nov. 23, when he began experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. Those with him called 911 and Park Rangers responded. A Customs and Border Protection helicopter was called to transport Brunson from the trail to a waiting ambulance at Panther Junction. 

As he was being taken to an area hospital, Brunson lost consciousness. In a press release, park officials say emergency responders performed CPR and defibrillation in an attempt to save Brunson’s life — but he died. 

“[The Park Service] would like to extend our sincere condolences to the friends and family of Mr.Brunson,” Acting Big Bend National Park Superintendent David Elkowitz said.

Brunson is the 4th person to die while visiting Big Bend National Park this year.

About mitchb

Mitch Borden is Marfa Public Radio's Permian Basin Reporter.
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