A 20-year-old college student died from altitude sickness as she was hiking in the Rocky Mountains, relatives said.
Susanna DeForest, of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, was hiking with friends when she became sick trying to reach Conundrum Hot Springs in Colorado, according to the Times Herald, citing Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Todaro.
“I don’t think anybody had a remote idea how serious this was,” Todaro told Philly.com.
She died overnight last Friday, Aug. 18, while waiting for a medical helicopter.
DeForest was studying design at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster.
While hiking, DeForest and her group stopped to spend the night but she started vomiting. Two friends tried to get help, while a third stayed with her, according to the New York Post.
The trail she was hiking on starts at around 8,700 feet and reaches an elevation of more than 11,000 feet.
Dispatchers were contacted at 10:45 p.m. but were unable to get to her location. When they reached her at 5 a.m., the young woman had died, officials said.
Her mother, Kate Deforest, wrote in a Facebook post, saying the woman died of “acute altitude sickness.”
“Her friends who were with her did all they could to get help to her in time,” DeForest wrote. “We have made a trip to Colorado to see her one last time and visit a place she loved here.”