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16-Year-Old Dies After Running Out of Water While Hiking: Sheriff

By Zachary Stieber

A 16-year-old died after running out of water while hiking in Arizona.

The boy was on a  hike with a Boy Scout group in Picacho Peak State Park on April 30. He ran out of water when his group got to the peak.

Some of the people with him noticed him struggling when the group started going back down and called for help, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Navideh Forghani told the Arizona Daily Star.

A park ranger rushed to the scene and found the boy unconscious with no pulse. Firefighters tried reviving the boy but he was pronounced dead.

It wasn’t known how many, if any, adults were with the group, Forghani said.

Andy Price, a Boy Scout executive, said that the boy was part of the Boy Scouts of America Grand Canyon Council.

“This is a very difficult time for our Scouting family. We are deeply saddened by the death of one of our youth members. We offer our sincerest condolences to his family, and we will support them in any way that we can. Please join us in keeping his family and friends everywhere in your thoughts and prayers,” Price said in a statement sent to the Star. “We are mindful of the impact this incident may have on Scouts and volunteers, and grief counselors are standing by to care for our youth members and adult leaders.”

The group did not note a planned hike on its website or Facebook page or issue a statement on either one.

SUCH A TRAGEDY: The Boy Scout who died during a hike on Picacho Peak over the weekend has been identified as 16-year-old Josh White. Authorities still aren't sure exactly why he died >>> https://bit.ly/2DMaqOr

Posted by Craig Thomas – Tucson News Now on Thursday, May 2, 2019

The boy was not identified by the sheriff’s office but the football coach at Estrella Foothills High School identified him as Josh White, a sophomore on the junior varsity team.

“Our heartfelt condolences go to the family of our beloved teammate Josh White who passed away on Saturday. When information regarding his services are made available we will pass them along,” the team said in a statement.

An obituary for White said he “died unexpectedly” on April 27. It said he was survived by his great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, and sister. His funeral was slated for May 10 at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Goodyear.

White was also a student volunteer at the Summit Community Church.

“I never saw him not put 100 percent into what he did. He always took that first step and always made his mark,” J.P. Hassman, a classmate of White’s, told 3 TV.

The school issued a letter to students and families after the death stating: “It is with heavy heart that we let you know that we lost a student to a hiking accident on (Saturday). CPR was performed, but the student was not able to be revived. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”

“With respect for the student and the family’s privacy rights, we cannot release any further information on the situation,” the statement continued. “We want you to know that we will have counselors on hand when students return to school tomorrow to assist any students who may need to talk about it. We also want to make you aware of a few community resources that are available if a student is struggling with grief outside of school hours.”