First Fatality in Ridgecrest Earthquake May Be Man Found Dead Under Jeep

Cheryl Sanders
July 11, 2019

Based on the position of his body and the tools nearby, it appeared he had been working on the ragtop vehicle when he died.

"Based on preliminary timing and circumstances at the scene, the Nye County Sheriff's investigation reveals that this death may be the result of the vehicle falling off the jacks on July 4th during the quake", the sheriff's office said in a release.

Both that temblor and the following day's 7.1 magnitude quake rattled Pahrump, Tippetts said.

Deputies found a 56-year-old man's body pinned beneath a Jeep on the outskirts of Pahrump about 1 p.m., said Sgt. Adam Tippetts of the Nye County Sheriff's Office in a video posted to Facebook.


His identity has not been released.

The before-and-after images come from July 4 and July 6 and show a significant surface rupture near the earthquakes' epicentre.

The 6.4 quake was the largest the area had experienced in 20 years, topped by the 7.1-magnitude temblor, which equaled the Hector Mines natural disaster from 1999. The estimated $100 million in damage would have been much higher had the epicenter been in an area such as Los Angeles, rather than the remote Ridgecrest area, he said.

A sprawling Navy base in the Southern California desert is still closed to nonessential personnel Tuesday as the military works to determine the damage from two powerful earthquakes last week.


Spokeswoman Margo Allen said Tuesday that teams have so far surveyed just 10% of the 1,200 facilities at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

Water and gas service had been restored at the base, but engineers were ensuring buildings were safe to enter.

Allen said that the shaking cracked walls in a chapel and school and brought down commissary shelves.

One person sustained a minor foot injury.


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