LAS VEGAS – A 65-year-old man from San Diego, California was discovered deceased in his vehicle on July 3 at sunrise in Death Valley National Park. According to park officials, the incident is believed to be a result of heat-related illness.
The discovery was made by a National Park Service maintenance worker who noticed a vehicle approximately 30 yards off the road from North Highway at around 10:01 a.m. The worker approached the vehicle and found the male occupant unresponsive. Promptly, NPS park rangers, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, and the Inyo County coroner’s office were called to the scene.
Tragically, the man was pronounced dead at the scene. While the vehicle did not crash, its tracks indicated that it veered away from the paved road, running along the road shoulder and rocky berm before coming to a stop. Two flat tires were discovered on the vehicle when it was found.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the driver may have suffered from heat-related illness, leading to the incident. Park officials noted that the previous day had a scorching high temperature of 126 degrees, with an overnight low of 98 degrees. It was revealed that the vehicle was operational and not stuck, but unfortunately, its air-conditioning system was not functioning.
Further evidence supporting the malfunctioning air conditioning was the discovery of the driver’s window rolled down. This detail indicates that the cooling system was not operational while the man was driving, adding to the potential impact of the extreme temperatures.
Park officials urge visitors to exercise caution and ensure the proper functioning of their vehicles’ cooling systems when venturing into hot environments.
As the investigation continues, park officials express their condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. No further details have been released at this time.
Anyone with additional information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the National Park Service or provide an anonymous tip through the appropriate channels.
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