A young Pennsylvania man died Friday night after an undisclosed medical emergency in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Jason Apreku, 21, of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, “experienced an undisclosed medical emergency [and] collapsed” while hiking the Osgood Trail to Mount Madison with friends at around 4:30 p.m New Hampshire Fish and Game.
Apreku’s friend called 911 and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, authorities said. Passing hikers and Appalachian Mountain Club employees also tried to help. Efforts to give the man a chance of survival went on for hours, the agency added.
Fish and Game officials said they contacted the New Hampshire Army National Guard, who dispatched a helicopter flying 35 minutes from Concord to Mt. Madison.
Members of the Androscoggin Valley search and rescue team also hiked up from the Appalachia parking lot in Randolph in case the helicopter couldn’t reach the ridge.
Officials reported that Mt. Washington, just a few peaks away, was experiencing wind gusts of up to 90 miles per hour and a chill of 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite these wind worries, the commanding officer of the National Guard ordered the helicopter crew to keep going so that every effort could be made to rescue Apreku.
Authorities also attempted to fly two conservation officers onto the ridge, but despite their best efforts, the National Guard helicopter crew and interview officers were unable to reach the hiker due to cloud cover and high winds.
After several hours and various attempts to save him, Apreku died of complications from unknown medical problems, authorities said.
All night and into Saturday morning, rescue workers continued to hike to Apreku’s location, battling extreme winds and freezing temperatures to remove the body from the trail and get him to Madison Spring Hut, where a helicopter team later found him off the mountain lifted.
The authorities then took Apreku’s body to a funeral home in Berlin.
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