Visitor fatality at Big Bend National Park

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK – On November 23, 2019, William Brunson, age 49, of New Braunfels, Texas, succumbed to an apparent heart attack after hiking with friends in Big Bend National Park.

While backpacking on the Marufo Vega Trail, Mr. Brunson began experiencing symptoms consistent with a heart attack, and his backpacking group called 911. Park rangers with emergency medical training arrived on scene, and soon after that a U. S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter arrived and transported Mr. Brunson to the park ambulance waiting at Panther Junction.

While being transported to the hospital, Mr. Brunson lost consciousness. Park rangers and paramedics from Terlingua Fire Department and EMS immediately began CPR and administered shocks using an AED, but attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

“We are truly saddened by this loss of life,” said acting Superintendent David Elkowitz. “We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Brunson.”