Man Found Dead Under His Vehicle After Earthquake + Safety Tips

On Tuesday, July 9, 2019, a man was found pinned under his vehicle in a rural area of Nevada. Investigators believe the man was working on his vehicle during one of the two recent earthquakes and died from his injuries caused by being pinned under the vehicle. The man had last been seen alive on July 3, 2019, before the first earthquake.

The earthquakes, 6.4 on July 4 and 7.1 on July 5, were centered approximately 11 miles outside Ridgecrest, California. Scientists have noted this as the largest seismic event in Southern California in the last 20 years. The town of Pahrump, the main town where the man was found, is approximately 100 miles away from the epicenter.

Authorities believe the victim had his vehicle safely supported, though as auto enthusiasts looking at the photos, that is questionable. This story is not to speak of ill the dead, though. Our focus is Safety Awareness.

In the event of an earthquake as large as these two, it is uncertain what additional safety precautions could have been done that would have a different outcome. We can, however, discuss basic safety knowledge and tips.

Jack Stands should always be properly placed under a vehicle before beginning work. Always make sure your floor jacks and jack stands are rated for a higher weight capacity than the vehicle you are working on.

Make Sure Someone Is With You Or Knows You Are Working On A Vehicle:

Never work under a vehicle without someone nearby or someone that knows you are there. If something were to break, fall or otherwise incapacitate you, another person can often help by using a floor jack to lift the vehicle back up.

Always Use Jack Stands Designed For Supporting A Vehicle:

Improvised supports are never ideal. Thinks like cinder blocks, logs or boxes are not designed to handle the weight and stress of a vehicle. Mechanical Jacks, also known as Farm Jacks or Hi-Lifts, are incredible tools with many uses but is not the best item to use.

Use Protective Gear:

Safety glasses, gloves and face masks should always be used when appropriate. Debris can come from anywhere, especially when working under a vehicle.

Use The Right Tool For The Job:

Many injuries while working on a vehicle come from using the incorrect tool for a task or using a tool improperly. Both can have negative or disastrous effects.

There are many more safety precautions that should be heeded but these are the absolute basics.

About the author

Jake Headlee

Jake's passion started at a young age wrenching on cars with his Dad. Obtaining that glorious driver's license sparked his obsession with grease and horsepower, and the rest is history. Soon, he was a general mechanic and suspension specialist, and currently designs and modifies products for the off-road industry. Jake enjoys rock crawling, desert racing and trail running, and writing in his spare time.
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