Man dies from heat exposure at Rock Hill’s River Park

A man died from heat exposure at a Rock Hill park Monday, according to the York County Coroner’s Office.

The incident happened around 6:45 p.m. at River Park in Rock Hill. A passerby found a man who appeared to be having a seizure and called 911, York County Coroner Sabrina Gast said. The victim, Ronnie Lee Moore, 55, was taken by EMS to Piedmont Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Gast said Moore had “an excessive temperature” when he arrived at the hospital. Rock Hill police noted in an incident report that Moore’s body temperature was 109 degrees.

“We are investigating this death as an accidental environmental exposure due to heat,” Gast said. “There are no indications that there is any foul play.”

The temperature in Rock Hill on Monday was 95 degrees at 6 p.m. and 93 degrees at 7 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

There were 11 heat-related deaths in South Carolina in 2015, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Numbers for York County were not available.

Teddy Kulmala: 803-329-4082, @teddy_kulmala

Heat-related illnesses

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat causes about 400 deaths each year in the U.S. Among those most at risk from heat-related illness are the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, homebound people and children under 5. South Carolina saw 11 heat-related deaths in 2015, according to DHEC.

What are the symptoms?

▪ The signs of heat cramps are painful muscle spasms, often in the legs or abdomen.

▪ With heat exhaustion, the skin might feel cool and clammy or moist and might be pale or appear flushed. You also might get a headache, nausea, or feel weak and dizzy.

▪ The signs of heat stroke are red, hot, dry skin and confusion or loss of consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. The heat stroke victim has lost the ability to sweat, which is why the skin will be hot and dry.

What should you do?

▪ The very first thing is to get out of the heat, even if it is just going to a shady spot.

▪ Apply cool, wet towels and drink cool water.

▪ If you reach the symptoms of heat stroke, call 911 right away.

What can be done to prevent heat-related illnesses?

All heat-related deaths are preventable. Staying in an air-conditioned area is the best answer. When you can’t do that, you can:

▪ Drink plenty of water – 2-4 glasses of at least 16 ounces of cool fluids every hour. Don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar.

▪ Avoid strenuous activity.

▪ Take frequent cool showers or baths.

▪ Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes.

▪ Limit sun exposure.

▪ Never leave children or pets in a parked car.

SOURCE: S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control