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Irvine resident dies on Joshua Tree trail

November 26, 2011

An Irvine man died while hiking in Joshua Tree over the weekend, authorities said Monday.

Fredrick McMichael, 39, was with a group of about six to eight people on the Lost Horse Mine trail when he had what appeared to be a massive attack of some kind, said Joe Zarki, a spokesperson for Joshua Tree National Park.

McMichael was near the apex of a rugged portion of the trail when he had an apparent heart attack, Zarki said.

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Park rangers were notified about 4:30 p.m. Saturday by people in McMichael's group that the man had collapsed. It took park staff about 40 minutes to reach him, Zarki said.

McMichael was later pronounced dead in the park by the Riverside County coroner and removed from the park the following day, according to a news release sent out by the park Tuesday. A Search and Rescue volunteer and park rangers stayed with McMichael overnight.

The Lost Horse trail ascends between 500 and 700 feet, and earlier reports said McMichael was on a five-mile loop to the site. The trail loops 8.4 miles, the release said. The weather conditions in the park that day had temperatures in the mid-50s with a possible breeze.

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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