Be careful in the desert people.


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Las Vegas Boy Dies After Getting Stranded in Death Valley

Updated: Aug 07, 2009 11:54 AM PDT
An 11-year-old Las Vegas boy died after his mother's car got stuck in sand for five days on their way to Death Valley for a camping trip, officials said Friday.
Carlos Sanchez and his 28-year-old mother set out for an overnight trip to the area Aug. 1, but were stranded when their car got stuck about 20 miles east of Trona. The mother's name has not been released.
Their car was found Thursday at the southwest corner of Death Valley National Park after Las Vegas police reported the pair missing. The mother told her rescuers her son had died the day before. The family's dachshund also survived and was being cared for by sheriff's deputies, said San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Tim Lotspeich, who assisted in the rescue.
The mother told authorities she got a flat tire on the way to Death Valley and continued after replacing it. Then, later in the day, their Jeep got stuck in the sand along the northern border of the China Lake Naval Weapons Center.
The mother hiked to the top of a tall peak to try to get a cell phone signal but could not, officials said. The pair had no maps and quickly consumed the 24 16-oz. bottles of water, Pop Tarts and cheese sandwiches they had packed.
The vehicle was found several miles off a dirt road in the middle of the desert and apparently got stuck when it drove over an underground coyote den and the soil collapsed, Lotspeich said.
The severely dehydrated mother was airlifted to Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas. Her condition was not immediately known.
The average summer temperature in Death Valley National Park, a vast and desolate area along the California-Nevada border that is considered one of the hottest places on Earth, is well over 100 degrees.
An autopsy on the boy is scheduled for next week.


Well-Known Member
I saw that. It makes me wonder if, or perhaps confirms, we have become way too dependent on GPS, mobile phones and other electronic devices. They had only three gallons of water with them (enough for about one day if they sit in the shade and do NOTHING) and apparently no map, compass, or equipment that might be used to unstick the Jeep (shovel?). Apparently no one contacted authorities until Wednesday night. They were apparently supposed to be back on Sunday.
Although one of the most hostile environments on earth, the situation they were in was completely survivable had they been properly prepared. Even without additional equipment, many parts of the vehicle can be used to help you survive, or get unstuck. It's important to have plan for things like this and some ideas on how to deal with these situations before they arise. Will to survive is a huge factor. Always refuse to die in place. I can't imagine what it would be like to watch as your son died from dehydration and heat.


Well-Known Member
same thing happened a couple of weeks ago at the laguna salada (mexicali) except the people involved didnt make prepared you never know what can happen..


Well-Known Member
Very sad. Kind of the same situation as Evan Tanner a year ago. Venturing out in the desert in the middle of summer without being prepared is never a good idea. It's hard reading about somebody elses child when your own is asleep on the couch right next to you.


Mammals fear me
I saw that. It makes me wonder if, or perhaps confirms, we have become way too dependent on GPS, mobile phones and other electronic devices.
I use to be that guy until one frozen waterfall climbing trip in Canada. An artic blast came in and drop the weather +15 -25/30 in just a few hours. Every sat phone,GPS,flashlight froze. Anything with a battery was done. I will never let that happen again. God Speed young man!


Well-Known Member
A PLB is a wonderful tool. Just not enough people out there either know about them or don't value their life enough to spend the money for one. Had these people had one they would have been rescued no question. I have several PLB's and even carry one in my airplane along with the ELT that is hard mounted. Mc Murdo now has a new smaller model with built in GPS for $283. Heck, even a SPOT would be better than nothing!


"RDC's Social Butterfly"
WOW that is REALLY sad especially considering we were all just there for the race last night :( Several questions cross my mind however... why would you go to the desert in the middle of summer so completely unprepared and 2nd why would a woman and a small child go to the desert alone??? :eek: that in itself is not a great idea! Safety in numbers... What a horrible situation.


"Pinky Poodle"
:( SAD .. My mom brought this article to my attention the other day ..