• pond surrounded by green brush, reflecting a distant range of snow-covered mountains that are dominated by one massive mountain

    Denali

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Medical Fatality Near Savage River Campground

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Date: July 17, 2009

Vito F. Capobianco, 59, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died from what appears to be natural causes on a Denali Natural History Tour bus near the Savage River Campground on Thursday, July 16, in spite of the lifesaving efforts by bystanders and personnel on scene.

The National Park Service received a report at 8:19 a.m. Thursday morning that a park visitor was suffering an unknown medical problem on the concessioner-operated bus stopped near the Savage River Campground at mile 13 of the park road.  Ranger-medics and an ambulance were immediately dispatched from park headquarters.  While enroute, the park’s communications center received a second call indicating that the person was not breathing and that CPR was in progress. Upon arrival, rangers found Capobianco in full cardiac arrest with several medically trained bystanders and concessioner employees administering care.  Ranger-medics performed advanced cardiac life support measures in an attempt to restore a pulse, but were not successful. After 35 minutes of emergency lifesaving effort, CPR and other efforts were terminated.

Capobianco's wife was accompanying him. His remains were released to the Office of the State Medical Examiner.

 

Did You Know?

an arctic ground squirrel on its hind legs

Nearly 500 vegetation plots have been installed in Denali, to monitor climate change. Warmer temperatures allow woody plants to grow at higher elevations, invading the fragile and unique plants already in high alpine tundra - and threatening the animals that depend on those specialized plants.