HEMET (CBSLA) — A heat wave in Hemet last weekend might have claimed the life of a local father.
Eddie King was 37 years old and healthy. A father of four with no pre-existing medical conditions, his fiance Nicole Young says.
On Friday afternoon King was overcome by triple digit heat and rushed to the hospital.
King called Young from the local hospital, saying he had fainted in the heat at their storage facility. It was 113 degrees that Friday afternoon.
“He said he passed out. Woke up and they were loading him into the ambulance from heat exhaustion and dehydration,” said Young.
Chief Scott Brown with the Hemet Fire Department confirms that AMR picked King up at a Cube Smart Storage on Florida Avenue Friday afternoon. They transported him to Hemet Valley Medical Center for “heat exposure” and possible “heat injury.”
When he called he thought he had been at the hospital for long enough.
“They had triaged him. They had put an IV into his arm. But then they had accidentally ripped it out so when they tried to put it back in the same arm he wouldn’t let them,” said Young.
King told her he was going to leave. A source tells CBSLA King left the hospital on his own against medical advice to stay.
At 11 p.m. it was still near 90 degrees outside. Since Young was out of town, King walked. He made it less than half a mile down the road.
“My assumption is he got as far as he could walking, laid down to rest and couldn’t go anymore and just never woke up,” said Young.
King was found dead under a tree the following morning. His shoes were off. His head resting on the curb like a pillow.
“Like a bad nightmare,” said Young.
The Riverside County Coroner’s Office says his official cause of death could take weeks, pending toxicology results.
But Young says they told his family he had signs of dehydration and hyperthermia — overheating caused by extreme heat.
“I don’t think he knew he was as sick as he was or I don’t think he would have left,” said Young.
A week after King died a Friday night vigil was held in Hemet to remember him.
This was the third in a series of suspected heat-related deaths that weekend.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical, funeral and other expenses.