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Hiker who died on Billy Goat Trail identified as Severn woman

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Posted at 1:06 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 13:06:20-04

A woman who died while hiking Saturday in C&O National Park has been identified by the United States Park Police.

Park Police Officers were dispatched to an area of the park’s Billy Goat Trail at about 1:55 p.m. for reports of an unconscious woman suffering a medical emergency, Park Police said. Earlier reports said people walking the trail found the woman and called police. Montgomery County Fire personnel responded and performed CPR, and a Park Police helicopter transported the woman to Suburban Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

The woman was identified as 32-year-old Rachel Parkerson, of Severn. Her cause of death was determined to be accidental and attributed to hyperthermia, relating it to the extreme temperatures that made the hot, humid air feel about 110+ degrees.

A GoFundMe page has been established for Parkerson in the hopes of raising money for her husband and three children.

Portions of the Billy Goat Trail were closed Saturday due to the heat. At least 10 other people were evaluated with heat-related illness, with two going to a hospital with non-life threatening issues.