Couple who died while hiking likely saved son's life through selfless act
French couple is dead but their selfless decision to give their son two sips of water for every sip they took in the tortuous heat of the desert likely saved the 9-year-old's life.
David and Ornella Steiner died along a trail inside White Sands National Monument in New Mexico last Tuesday.
Their selfless actions kept the boy in decent enough condition, though he was treated for dehydration and heat exposure by authorities. His parents were declared dead from heat exhaustion pending autopsy results.
At some point on the trail, the mother took ill and said she needed to return to the car. The father and son kept on until the father became disoriented and collapsed. The boy stayed with him until park rangers arrived.
Park officials suggest taking at least one gallon of water per person on a hike and only to begin hikes during the cooler times of day.
The family set out at around 1 p.m. when temperatures neared 101 degrees and only had two 20 ounce bottles of water between them.
French consular authorities were immediately notified of the deaths.