Glamis Deaths

Kritter

Krittro Campbell
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20020704-9999_1m4desert.html

Two bodies found in dunes after vehicle breaks down

By Michael Stetz
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

July 4, 2002

It was planned to be a quick joy ride, no doubt. A fun, exciting ride through Imperial County desert terrain in a dune buggy.

After all, Lisa Scala and Martin Myer took very little water – just a couple of 8-ounce bottles.

They left cell phones back at their camp site.

They had no cover for shade.

They had no tools.

All of that turned out to be a recipe for disaster when the dune buggy broke down. The two had been camping alone in an area known as Buttercup Valley about 30 miles east of El Centro, so no one could immediately tell authorities they were missing.

Scala, 29, was found dead last Thursday, in the dune buggy. Myer, 42, was found Sunday, about 200 yards from the vehicle. Both died of exposure. The San Diego County residents were discovered about three miles from their camp site.

"It could have been prevented," said Henry Proo, a deputy coroner for the Imperial County Sheriff's Department, the investigating office that provided many of the details about the incident.

"They were ill-prepared for the elements."

While the desert regularly claims the lives of poorly equipped immigrants illegally crossing the border, it rarely is the scene for this kind of tragedy, authorities say.

Desert enthusiasts usually travel in groups or congregate near each other and alert authorities when someone is missing, authorities say.

But the couple picked an unusual time to take such a trip. Because of sweltering heat – it reaches 110 degrees daily – the off-roading season ceases before summer. No other people were around where the couple camped, Proo said.

The tragic event unfolded last week. Proo said a worker for the Imperial Irrigation District alerted the U.S. Border Patrol last Thursday about the couple. He was worried because he had not seen the two since noticing them a couple of days earlier.

The Border Patrol began a search and discovered Scala's body. The search for Myer proved fruitless and was called off after two days, only to be resumed on Sunday. A few hours after starting, searchers came across Myer's body.

The dune buggy appeared to be repairable, Proo said. A pin had popped out of the steering arm connecting it to the steering box. A screwdriver might have fixed it, he said.

It would not have been an easy hike back to the campsite, he added. The two were three miles into the swollen, rolling dunes. When you walk, your feet sink into the deep sand, he said.

And, of course, it's hot – and dry.

Still, Proo can't remember a similar tragedy involving campers taking place recently. Nor could Dionicio Delgado, spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol based in El Centro.

But it's easy to become disoriented in the desert, he noted. Immigrants often die trying to conquer it.

Andy Scala, Lisa's father, said his daughter lived in Chula Vista. Both she and Myer recently were laid off from the Goodrich Corp. in Chula Vista, he said.

Lisa, the mother of a 5-year-old son, was a graduate of Torrey Pines High School and UCSD, he said.

His daughter didn't appear to show a lot of interest in the off-roading lifestyle previously, he said. "She was more of a limo and bright-lights kind of a person," he said. She was a big Lakers fan, he added.

Myer's family members could not be located.

Andy Scala, of Lake Mathews in Riverside County, got a call from the Imperial County Sheriff's Department on Thursday night telling him of his daughter's death. He identified the body. Lisa, he said, was discovered in the driver's seat, with an empty water bottle nearby.

He figures Myer went for help, never got far or became lost and tried to make it back to the dune buggy.

"I can't believe this has happened," he said.

Kris
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.dmsrace.com>www.dmsrace.com</A>
"It's not an oil leak, it's sweat from all the horsepower"
 

fishd00d

What A Joke
I know that the dunes might all look the same but to not be able to find your way back 2 or 3 miles only? You should be able to see at least 5-10 miles from the top of a dune.....

Go Big Or Go Home
United Jumping Truck Society
U.J.T.S. Manwhore
 

shrek

Well-Known Member
That is a good idea, fish. To talk s#$% about someone that is dead. Especially when you have no idea of the exact location they were in or what really happened. The report is just investigative speculation because the only two witnesses to what really happened are dead.

Can you imagine how this guy felt not being able to find his way back to the buggy where he left his girlfriend??? This was very tragic, and we should all remember this story the next time we go off for a little run and are not as prepared as we should be. I am sure most of us if not all are guilty of the same, we just have gotten lucky.

Try to show a little class.

Racing isn't everything.............it's the only thing!!!
 

TRDshaunTRD

Well-Known Member
a sad and unusual story

"Those who risk nothing, are nothing."
 

sirhk100

Well-Known Member
Yeah, it's difficult to think about what those two were even going through near the end!!!! All I know is that I would imagine if I was the chick I'd be curled up under the rail in what little shade there was. As for the guy, talk about instant insanity at that point where you realize you're seriously F'ed. Talk about a SCARY REALITY.

Hey Fish have you ever been out in the deep dunes? I'm talking WAY past Olds... Depending on where they were camped. For instance at one of the end washes or at the end of Gecko loop. If you go straight out 3 miles in the dunes there's lots of places where from the tallest peak all you can see is dunes to the horizon. I remeber going out there on my dirt bike for the VERY 1st time and actually getting a little nervous about what would happen if my bike broke or blew up. How would I get it back? Glamis isn't that big in the over all picture but when you're stuck in the middle it might as well be endless!!! Vehicle prep is much more important there then in any race cause like above a bad prep could litterally cost your life. Well I guess that's true in racing too but you probably get what I mean....

Khris

'92 Ford Exploder (work in progress)
 

partybarge_pilot

Well-Known Member
I know I may get a lot of flack for this but, bad things happen to stupid people.

I've been going to glamis since I was 3.
Some of the things My dad drilled into My head were,
1. Never ride alone , use the buddy system.
2. Always take water.
3. always take tools.

Over the years I have had to rescue quite a few people in the dunes. Most of this could have been avoided if these people had fallowed these three rules. Alot of people just go there for the party and are very unprepaired.

Prime example. My nieghbor was out past china wall when the bolt that clamps the sterring box to the beam on his rial broke. Between the three buggys there they came up with a hose clamp, bungy cord and a roll of duct tape. This fix enabled them to finish the run to olds and back to camp at gecko. There is no reson to die over a broken bolt.
 

fishd00d

What A Joke
I am not talking I failed spelling on anyone...Simply saying what I thought...the dunes where they were at were not as big as Glamis ones.....no matter what happened or how it happened its sad and we should all learn from it.

Go Big Or Go Home
United Jumping Truck Society
U.J.T.S. Manwhore
 

Jordan

Well-Known Member
Some people no respect.

<font color=red>"The more we play the more we pay"</font color=red>
 

BIG_FAT_LOSER

Well-Known Member
A story such as this should be motivation for us all to purchase a G.P.S. A simple model can be had for under $200.

<font color=yellow>United Jump Truck Society<font color=yellow>
U.J.T.S. President.
 

heavy8

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know if the BLM or border patrol (HELP)can be reached with a radio/cb . I am thinking of installing one if it would help in a situation. Ive had 3 close calls in SD and Barstow area deserts and a couple long walks but ive been lucky so far. I think the GPS is a very smart invesment as well. Ive been wanting a nice big GPS with map software but its just to much$ for me now. I think I will get a hand held for now just for the safety reasons..

Also if someone knows specific radio channels that would be great.
Matt
 

Kritter

Krittro Campbell
I know you can search the web for BLM freqs. I searched a while back and most were 10m frequencies although I know there are some 2 m ones that you can use a race/chase radio to contact.

Kris
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.dmsrace.com>www.dmsrace.com</A>
"It's not an oil leak, it's sweat from all the horsepower"
 

Steve_Sourapas

Well-Known Member
Buy a Sat. phone,I know they are a bit on the pricey side but how much is your life worth.Rent one if you have to,I never go prerunning or racing without one.

BEERMAN
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
regular old cb- usually channel 9 or 17 will be the local "emergency" channel to try for help on. The only problem is there are so many idiots playing games on there you may not actually ever receive help. Cell phones work if you have the right conmpany. Our guys travel all over California for fires(the western states this year!) and ATT has the best coverage if you are willing to pay the little extra it costs.

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

Dave_G

Well-Known Member
Martin,
Having a survival kit with ample water in your vehicle as well as an EPIRB would also go a long way in ensuring your rescue in a situation like this. Based on my S&R experience I would guess that these folks expired in as little as 6 hours or less.

Dave

"I know it all, but I can't remember most of it..."
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
dave- walking through sand in 110+ degrees...8 ounces of water? he was delirious in 2 hours. the girl probably lasted 6 hours. survival skills is right, but you have to wonder what they were thinking going out there during the day in august. before anyone gets all upset that i am bagging on the dead people, hear this out. i know lots of people who will make night runs at glamis in the summer, but few if any will be out there during the day. too risky! to be honest, i wonder how many drivers at henderson should/were treated for heat exhaustion. I deal with this stuff on a daily basis in the summer time. heat kills people without their ever realizing it is happening. everyone should try to talk folks out of making mistakes like this in the future. it is not woeth it. every rule for off roading starts with "don't go alone". there is a reason for that.

martin

If your gonna go, go BIG
 
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