Thursday, September 21, 2023


Man dies in car in Death Valley from extreme heat

A 65-year-old man from the San Diego area was found dead in his vehicle in California’s Death Valley National Park on the morning of July 3. Extreme heat appears to have caused his death.

At 10:01 a.m., a National Park Service maintenance worker noticed a vehicle about 30 yards off road from North Highway. The worker checked the sedan and found the man unresponsive. NPS park rangers, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, and Inyo County Coroner’s Office responded. The man was declared dead at the scene.

The car’s tracks ran along the road shoulder and rocky berm before veering further away from the paved road. The vehicle did not crash but had two flat tires. The initial investigation suggests that heat-related illness may have caused the driver to run off the road.

The high temperature the previous day was 126° F. The overnight low temperature was 98° F. The vehicle was found to be operational and was not stuck; however, the air conditioning was not working. The driver’s window was found down, further indication that the air conditioning was not functioning when the man was driving.



  1. What is it about “extreme” heat or “excessive” heat that people don’t understand? It happens every summer, inexperienced people that fancy themselves pros, and think they know it all head out with little or no water. Unfortunately it’s a mistake that costs them their lives usually. Come on folks, smarten up.

  2. Another good reason to stay out of Death Valley in the summer months. No problem getting campsites though.

    • Exactly Tommy. It is always tragic to hear of any avoidable death but we sure could use some more details. Heart attack or stroke is my guess, possibly heat related or caused when 2 old tires blew at the same time…..

      I’m just saying more to this story is hopefully coming, a) 2 flat tires, b) no AC working, c) tracking on the shoulder.

      Possibly better automobile maintenance could have saved this life. Either way, I would not recommend driving on old bald tires through Death Valley wity no AC in July any more than I would recommend a January jaunt on bald tires in Northern Manitoba with the heater not working.

      Darwin may have been in on this death.

      • Good points cancel. I think you’re right about more to the story than the simple report. We’ve visited Death Valley several times but never in the summer. Same reason we don’t visit our friends in Phoenix or Roswell in the summer. Just saying;.


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