29-year-old woman dies from heart attack hiking in Olympics

She collapsed, then regained consciousness, then went into cardiac arrest. Park rangers were there.

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — A 29-year old Iowa woman suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while backpacking with family on the Sol Duc River Trail above Deer Lake in Olympic National Park.

Park rangers were hiking in the area and encountered the group of hikers at about 5 p.m. Monday, according to Penny Wagner, Olympic National Park spokeswoman.

The woman’s name and hometown are being withheld pending family notifications.

The woman had collapsed 30 minutes beforehand and regained consciousness.

Rangers provided medical aid and she began to improve.

The plan was to camp overnight at Deer Lake and proceed with a litter carry out to the trailhead in the morning.

At 6:45 p.m., the woman suddenly lost consciousness again and went into cardiac arrest, Wagner said.

A Medevac was requested and due to the terrain, a military helicopter was necessary for a hoist operation.

Cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was administered for an hour, but was unsuccessful.

The exact cause of death is under investigation.

The Navy helicopter was on scene at 8:30 p.m. Monday and assisted with the recovery.

The woman was flown to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles and transferred to Harper-Ridgeview Funeral Chapel.

“We offer our most heartfelt condolences to this young woman’s family,” said park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.

Deer Lake is at an elevation of 3,600 feet and located 3.8 miles from the Sol Duc River Trailhead in the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness.

Jesse Major is a reporter for the Peninsula Daily News.

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