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SALT LAKE CITY — A teenager died on a Boy Scout camping trip Saturday as his troop started hiking out of the High Uintas to get him medical attention for an apparent illness.
Douglas Jeffery Julian would have turned 18 on Sunday.
All indications are that Julian was a young, healthy teenager who played high school sports and had no prior history of illness or medical problems, according to Duchesne County Sheriff’s Lt. Jeremy Curry. Investigators suspect he may have died due to altitude sickness.
"That’s the only possible reason we have," he said. "Right now we have no reason to believe it was anything else." Julian and his Scout troop were camped in the Chain Lakes area in Krebs Basin on Thursday when he began to complain about a headache and nausea, Curry said.
The teen was still sick Friday night, prompting his Scout leaders to pack up camp early Saturday and hike back to the trailhead in Uinta Canyon north of Neola, Duchesne County, he said.
On Saturday morning, one of the Scout leaders set out early, hiking 8 to 10 miles before he was able to get cellphone service and call for help, Curry said. A medical helicopter arrived at the troop’s location but Julian had already died.
Deputies later learned that Julian lost consciousness and collapsed about 50 yards from the troop’s campsite as they began hiking out Saturday morning, according to Curry. Members of the troop immediately began CPR but were unable to revive him.
A medical helicopter flew Julian's body to Uintah Basin Medical Center in Roosevelt. His body was then transported to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.