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SoCalTess818

New Years Weekend Tragedy

33 posts in this topic

Last night (December 30th, 2011) we took our truck and Tyrex over to comp at about 10:45PM to hang out. At about 11:00pm we watched a Sandrail going between 40-50mph fly up comp looking like he had no motive to slow down at all. Unfortunately he did not slow down at all. He flew off the top of comp as we heard him gun the thing as he went in the air. We knew right away it was not good because I have seen this before, someone not see the top of the dune and do some serious damage to themselves by catching air. The razor back at the top of comp is extremely steep right now. People went up to find the guy who flew off the top last night, but shortly after a guy in another Sandrail came down and asked me to call the rangers and told me the guy was already dead. The rangers arrived in about 10 minutes but because he was already dead and it was very dark out there was not much they could do. They removed the body but left the Sandrail there. I did not go up after I called the rangers because I have seen fatalities here before and it is always a horrible thing. The next morning I went to see the rail, it was a 2 seater white rail with a large engine and a NOS button. I did not see a NOS tank in the car though. The rail was over the top of comp down in a small bowl, about 100 feet from the top of comp. The driver's seat was very mangled, bent all the way back and looked like it was about to go right through the bottom of the rail. The rear end of the rail was very damaged and one rear rim was extremely bent, I have never seen a rim bend that bad in the sand. The 100 foot drop was steep and I am guessing he landed straight on the back of his rail because he gunned it when he went off the top. My friend talked to the rangers this morning and he said the guy died on impact with spinal and neck injuries. There was no blood at the scene this morning. I'm not sure if alcohol was a factor but riding at night is dangerous without alcohol, especially at speeds that high. I am not sure of the age of the victim or name but I feel for his family and friends and very sad to see a fellow duner pass. I hope to not see any more injuries or fatalities this weekend, please think before you get behind the wheel of something if you have been drinking. It's never a good idea. Be safe everyone.

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wow that sucks, nice coverage of the incident and a good reminder for those out there to be carefull.

I have never riden Dumont at night, much at night at all. after seeing so many injuries and deaths at night i think i will stick to the day light.

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This kind of accident has happened so many times before at the top of comp. It's a shame. RIP duner!

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Got a little bit more information last night. His name was Tony. His friends said he had been coming to the dunes for 20 years but that he had bad vision. They didn't think he had been drinking when he crashed on Friday. It shows how even an experienced duner can get disoriented in the dark on comp. The link ^^^^ says he was 61 years old. very sad story:(

Good news is I was at comp for majority of the evening last night and did not see any accidents. Not sure about the rest of the dunes. Hope everyone stayed safe.

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So sad. There are some NASTY razors out there this year, although the top of Comp is nothing new. RIP fellow duner.

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The CHP report, to follow, could find something mechanical that may have happened also. May have been a stuck throttle or something else that caused it. I'd be curious to find that out as he had so much experience. At any rate it;s too bad this happened, especially during the Holiday season. This will have an affect on his family forever, at this time of year!

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Sad to hear. Must have been mechanical issue. An experienced Duner knows what's at the top. RIP. Duner.

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Man, this is horrible to hear. Thanks for the update, Tess. My thoughts go out to his friends and family.

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One of our Peeps from our Group Helped him the Day before !! with Stuck throttle Problems at the North Pole.

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"May have been a stuck throttle or something else that caused it."

"One of our Peeps from our Group Helped him the Day before !! with Stuck throttle Problems at the North Pole."

This is starting to look like a very possible cause for the tragedy! Makes more sence to me that him just shooting off the top of comp with his years of experience.

My next project will be to mount a "Very Accesable" Kill switch on my rail!

Edited by sandawg
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your ign switch isnt accessable easily Pat?? I would just reach up and shut it off

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It's happened to me as well. Just push the clutch in and hit the brake. Let the motor hit the limiter. Who cares. Better than an accident. Then shut it down. Sometimes it all happens so quick some people might panic though. This is a sad story for sure.

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your ign switch isnt accessable easily Pat?? I would just reach up and shut it off

It really isn't Bert. It's next to the shifter and is not that easy to get to. Little car and fat boy strapped in. something on the steering wheel would be cool. Should do a double wired switch so it will shut off the fan and the fuel pump as well. 2 seperate loggles on my car.

I tend to over engineer safety because of my background in racing and NASCAR officiating. Besides I'm retired, enjoy engineering stuff and have the time to do it! so why not? I'm also going to check the set up for my seat mounts after hearing about the seats in the car after the accident. Sounds like it kind of twisted and hit on one side in the rear. Who knows what it would have taken to survive as violent a landing as this must havve been.

It's happened to me as well. Just push the clutch in and hit the brake. Let the motor hit the limiter. Who cares. Better than an accident. Then shut it down. Sometimes it all happens so quick some people might panic though. This is a sad story for sure.

Good point Pete.

:old:

Edited by sandawg

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This is very sad.

Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends for their loss.

Pete has a very good point for everyone to remember about full clutch and break in a situation like that.

RIP Tony.

R-

Edited by Randog

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Tess, I was there in the morning in the blue rail. One of the guys there checked the throttle and it wouldn't move. There was only diet cokes in the cooler and no signs of alcohol. I am starting to think it was mechanical failure. RIP and my condolences to his family. Was a nice turbo powered VW mid travel. Seeing the seat mangled and the steering wheel bent down just made me cringe. To me it looked like it flat landed. I hope it was quick and painless. Sorry for the family's loss.

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My Girlfriend and I were out there as well along with a friend in his Rhino, we in my Rzr. We just watched in amazement and gasp when there was NO turn, or back off. We looked at each other as just teared up as we knew what happened. :-( Very sad, could not see any real response going up but a single person from a RZR trying their darnested to get up there, bailed from the ride and started climbing with a flashlight to the top. We called in 911 and there had already been a call. We could not even imagine only but a mechanical failure or a bad call from a Dr. to send someone over the top literally. You just never know what happens and to be alone in the car? That much experience and who knows what goes on in ones life...... My last ride for the weekend was up the spine/rzr to the point of launch to pay my respects to this fellow duner. I am deeply sadended for this mans family, friends and loved ones.

I have "2" kill switches on my car accesable by me or my passenger and that is pointed out to whoever rides with me. We have no control over mechanical failures but we can deminish the outcome with knowledge. Let your passengers know what is your ah sh*t button!

God speed.

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SB County Coroner's Office released the victim's name today. Thomas Victor Adams, 61, from Rialto. RIP fellow duner.

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Ivnalolife, I think I was up there with you in the morning. I was in the red sandcar with my dad and his friend who checked the cooler. I just can't figure out how he got turned the other way but didn't roll.

But yes it was sad on Friday night to see that no one could get up to him. We only had a truck. I saw the person walk up the rest of the way from their rhino too, I wish there was something that could have saved him. Props to all of the duners who were helping that night.

RIP Thomas Adams

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Just wanted to say thanks to ALL that helped that evening. We (Sheriff's Dept) were the first L/E on scene that night. The BLM Med-Aid buggy had some problems at the top of the hill so we were in need of help getting personnel up to accident. I especially want to thank the guy (I didn't get his name) with the green, white and black 2 seat buggy. We couldn't have handled it w/o him. Our Sheriff's Tahoe was hit by a DUI driver at finger 1 at the same time the Comp Hill fatal accident came out, so you can immagine the chaos. We had to get several Med-aid, CHP, BLM, and Sheriff personnel up and down the hill. All we had was the Sheriff's Dept buggy until our fellow duners stepped up, so thank you ALL very much. I know each and everyone of you have helped someone in the past. Sadly we see these types of crashes all too often, so please learn from them and be careful.

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Well its good to see everyone help out. But at the same time its so sad to hear about this happening. RIP

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