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

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(KTLA) — The death of a man found Tuesday pinned beneath a vehicle in Nevada, roughly 100 miles away from the epicenter of last week’s major earthquakes near Ridgecrest, is likely related to the destructive temblors, officials said.

FOX40 sister station KTLA reports the death of the 56-year-old man, who hadn’t been seen since the day before the first large quake struck, would be the first related to the largest seismic event in Southern California in the last 20 years.

Authorities in Pahrump, a town near the California border, were first called about the situation around 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nye County Sheriff’s Sgt. Adam Tippetts said in a video news release.

Deputies sent to the rural property, on the northeast outskirts of the border town, found the man pinned under a Jeep that had previously been jacked up safely, according to Tippetts.

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

The circumstances and preliminary information about the time of his death have led investigators to believe the Jeep fell off its jacks during the first earthquake, a magnitude 6.4 that hit on the Fourth of July.

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

The man was last seen alive at a local gas station on Wednesday, July 3.

His name was not being released, pending the notification of his next of kin.


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