Death Valley tourist dies walking for gas in extreme heat that hit 123 degrees

Officials say that the high temperatures hindered search for David Kelleher

A Death Valley National Park tourist died after walking for gas for his car in sweltering high temperatures that hit 123 degrees.

Park officials say that David Kelleher, 67, was found more than two miles from his vehicle but only 30ft from California Highway 190.

A ranger first noticed the car parked at Zabriskie Point, a popular spot to watch sunrise and sunset, on 8 June.

The same ranger then noticed that the car had not been moved three days later, and upon inspection found a note that read “Out of gas” inside it.

Officials say that the extreme temperatures limited search efforts for Mr Kelleher, who was from Huntington Beach, California.

The National Park Service says that he had been cited for off-road driving on 30 May and had told a ranger then that he was low on gas.

“Kelleher’s body was found by park visitors around 2pm on June 14. Kelleher was about 2.5 miles from their vehicle, but only about 30 feet from California Highway 190, obscured by terrain and a mesquite tree,” NPS said in a statement.

They advise visitors that during periods of extreme temperatures they should stay with their vehicle and wait for assistance.

It is not the first death in the park, which straddles California and Nevada, this month.

John McCarry, 69, of Long Beach, was found dead in Panamint Valley on 1 June. And in May, a vehicle belonging to Peter Harootunian was found abandoned in Emigrant Campground. He has not been found.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in