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PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: steve...
Date: June 17, 2022 09:37PM
Man found in Death Valley National Park after his car runs out of gas

A man was found dead after his car ran out of gas and he appeared to search for help on foot amid scorching temperatures in Death Valley National Park in California, according to officials.

The body of David Kelleher, 67, of Huntington Beach, was found Tuesday by park visitors, the National Park Service said Wednesday in a news release.

Kelleher disappeared amid a heat wave that saw temperatures in Death Valley increase to 123 degrees.

Ultimately, Kelleher’s body was found around 2 p.m. Tuesday about two and a half miles from his vehicle and about 30 feet from California Highway 190, according to the park service. It was “obscured by terrain and a mesquite tree,” officials said.

He appeared to be walking from Zabriskie Point toward Furnace Creek after running out of gas, officials said.


NBCnews





Northern California Coast
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: testcase
Date: June 17, 2022 10:12PM
He should have stayed with his car.

I was in that area 10+ years ago driving an air conditioned SUV rental. I also had a cooler with cold water and snacks. I clearly remember being in AWE looking up at the towering mountains thinking that 100+ years ago, settlers came over said mountains in animal drawn wagons only to find themselves in the h*ll Death Valley can be.

People were a LOT tougher then. old fogey smiley
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: June 17, 2022 10:32PM
I wouldn't be out in anything approaching 123F.








Then again.... It's a dry heat.
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: hal
Date: June 17, 2022 11:15PM
You don't mess around in Death Valley. Bad planning can get you killed out there.
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: vision63
Date: June 18, 2022 12:44AM
Quote
hal
You don't mess around in Death Valley. Bad planning can get you killed out there.

There was also the part where he was cited on May 30 for riding off-road and mentioned "then" that he was low on gas. I wonder why the call it Death Valley?
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: June 18, 2022 06:31AM
Perhaps I'm just extra-prudent, but I'd want a full tank of gas plus an extra ten gallons or so of gas in reserve tanks PLUS ten gallons of water if I went off a main thoroughfare in the desert anywhere, ESPECIALLY in Death Valley. One of those collapsible canopies to keep the sun off the car along with a wide brush and enough Day-Glo orange paint to write "SOS" on top of the canopy if I needed to wouldn't go amiss, either.

That's just me, though.



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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: RgrF
Date: June 18, 2022 07:31AM
Parts of India experience 120º+ temps for extended periods and it's NOT a dry heat.
All brought to us courtesy of Chevron/Exxon-Mobile Corps, BP Ltd, et Cie & Co etc. etc. etc.

Their profits are amazing these days so that makes up for loss of environment.
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: chopper
Date: June 18, 2022 09:36AM
Always stop for gas in Barstow. Always.
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: Pat
Date: June 18, 2022 09:55AM
You wouldn't believe the morons we've come across in DV. I've wasted literally a whole day of my trip helping people out of stupid situations. There was one group of asshats that we almost left to fend for themselves after they started yelling at us and telling us how we were going to leave part of our party with them as insurance. We had young kids in our trucks. I told the guy to go eff himself and if the Ranger was still at the Grapevine station I'd let him know where they were. If not he was gonna have to wait until we got back to FC. 4 flat tires. At that time, Millers in Lone Pine was the only tow company allowed in DV. Was probably north of $3k for that tow.

Your Subaru is not a truck.
Anything with P series tires need to stay on the pavement.
If you haven't been off roading before, this is not the place to learn. Especially June-Sept. 90% of the stuff is non technical, but you need to be able to read the terrain and anticipate what you're getting into. Halfway up a rocky shelf road is not the time to decide you've gone too far.

And if you're filling up, Baker, Trona, Lone Pine or Pahrump depending on which way you're coming in. With a 38 gallon tank, I've got roughly 600 mile range. Throw 2 5 gallon jugs bag in the back and fuel is the least of my concerns.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2022 10:03AM by Pat.
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: Speedy
Date: June 18, 2022 10:29AM
The last time I went through DV we made sure we had plenty of gas and water. It was in July of 1970 and my buddy and I were touring in his ‘56 Chev coupe, bald tires and all but with a spare that held air. We stayed overnight in a campground near a Shell station. No need to set up our tent as we were the only people there, we just spread our sleeping bags on top of picnic tables. There were modern restrooms but no showers so we borrowed a garden hose from the closed-for-the-night Shell to use to shower off the dirt and grime from riding in the non-AC Chevy; one never knew when we might run into a couple of similarly situated females or another opportunity to bathe. We got up with the sun and left the valley before it got real hot. To be young and stupid again…

The Chevy, a few days and many miles later, blew a head gasket and he traded it at a junkyard for a ‘57 Plymouth that got us to his home in Seattle. (For twenty years after he got letters from the junkyard begging for the title to the Chevy but he had sold it for junk and because they wouldn’t pay him for the title he never sent it.)



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: Diana
Date: June 18, 2022 10:53AM
I feel for the man’s family. It sounds like he got overheated, found some shade and died there.

Death Vally: It’s kinda on my “bucket list.” But ..,

My car gets 30-32 mpg, 13 gallon tank: about 300 miles (running out reportedly will damage the engine). An extra 10-15 gallons of fuel to make sure I don’t run out.

No gas stations, no water (duh!!). Bring at least a gallon+ of extra water (per person).

Pay attention to the signs that say things like “next gas xxxx miles” because they’re not joking. These are used for a reason. Fill up, top off, whatever. Just don’t get caught out.

Tell someone the route I’m going and check in with them at regular intervals. Does cell service work there? This is the same as if I were to go hiking in the National Parks, except that the heat and lack of water can kill quickly.

While the movies, stories, etc glamorize the place for its harshness and desolate beauty, it is an unforgiving place.

And no, my car isn’t suitable for off-roading. Dad didn’t raise an idiot.
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: davester
Date: June 18, 2022 11:45AM
Quote
Pat
You wouldn't believe the morons we've come across in DV. I've wasted literally a whole day of my trip helping people out of stupid situations.

Ditto. I remember one older couple in their shiny overheated new Buick wearing their "Vegas clothes" and with no drinking water or cooler in the car. He told me that it couldn't have overheated because it was new and that he hadn't noticed any steam. This despite the searing heat coming off the engine block and the smoke that poured out when I gingerly pulled the dipstick. When I told him that I was going to drive them both out to Beatty to get help he told me that the wife would stay to guard the car. I told him "no, I don't think so" and insisted that it was both or none. Crazy people who think they're at Disney's Adventureland, not in the wilderness.



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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: rgG
Date: June 18, 2022 12:14PM
As I have told you guys before, we went to DV in March the year they had the 100 bloom, or whatever it was called, about 7-8 years ago, I think.
It was cold and raining. smiley-laughing001
Always trying to be an outlier. grinning smiley





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: Pat
Date: June 18, 2022 02:46PM
Super Bloom
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: June 18, 2022 03:48PM
"He appeared to be walking from Zabriskie Point toward Furnace Creek after running out of gas, officials said."

1.5 hour hike...for those who have been there, would he have made it if he waited until sundown?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2022 03:48PM by Bill in NC.
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: btfc
Date: June 18, 2022 04:00PM
‘ Bring at least a gallon+ of extra water (per person) ‘


Yes, when I guided trips in the Organ Pipe Cactus/ Cabeza Prieta area we would plan on two gallons per day per person; actual use averaged about 1 1/4, but we wanted that saftey factor.
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: Pat
Date: June 18, 2022 04:05PM
The parking lot for Zabriskie Point is right off 190.
Even in the middle of summer there would be some traffic on the 190. Usually busloads of European tourists coming in from Vegas.

His best bet would have been to stay put.

As for making the hike at night, it still would have been in the high 90s and it's 3.6 miles to the Inn. He would have been able to get water there.
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: rgG
Date: June 18, 2022 04:34PM
Quote
Pat
Super Bloom

Yes! That’s it.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: PSA: Fill your gas tank before driving in Death Valley CA when it’s hot
Posted by: Bernie
Date: June 18, 2022 07:42PM
A friend I was in service with asked me if I remembered him. I did not. He was a Sargent when I met him, I am told. He became a Warrant Officer a few years later and retired as a Captain. Not stupid.

We may never know




Staunton, Virginia
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