Injured Calif. hiker dies after being found in NM

AP News
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Posted: Nov 01, 2013 2:10 PM

RESERVE, N.M. (AP) — A California man who went missing while hiking in western New Mexico died four days after his father who was monitoring the search for him, authorities said Friday.

When hunters found Stephen Lockhart on Sunday, the 43-year-old Costa Mesa man was lying on the ground. He was conscious but incoherent and had a head wound, possibly from a fall, Catron County Under Sheriff Ian Fletcher said.

The hunters went for help, but Lockhart died during the several hours that it took responders to hike into the remote site, Fletcher said.

Lockhart got separated from a friend on Oct. 19 while hiking from a camp site to a lookout point, and a search began after he was reported missing on Oct. 20.

Lockhart's father, 70-year-old Ray Lockhart of Huntington Beach, Calif., fell ill and died Oct. 23 while searchers were looking for his son.

The air and ground search for the son was suspended that evening, Fletcher said.

Fletcher said the area where the son was found has steep and rugged terrain, but he didn't know whether there was any indication of how the man was hurt.

Cause of death will be determined by the state Office of the Medical Investigator, Fletcher said. "He did have some trauma consistent with a fall."

Nighttime temperatures in the area dipped to between 20 and 30 degrees.

The father died in an ambulance en route to a hospital after he collapsed at the hikers' camp.

He received immediate attention from a New Mexico State Police officer and a paramedic with the search team, a spokesman said after the father's death.