Sad but preventable storyPosted: August 15, 2017
I’m posting this so we can all learn from it and prevent it from ever happening again.
We all wheel with others, right? We should all ensure that everyone in our rig and in our fellow wheelers rigs are wearing seat belts. Running Sierra Trek last week, at the drivers meeting, seat belts were very much emphasized by the committee. It might be uncomfortable at times but it would be more uncomfortable to explain to your passenger’s family why they died because you moved the rig while they were not belted in.
We shouldn’t even have to talk about drinking and driving but here we are. Again, we wheel with friends. If someone in the group has been drinking, it’s up to us to step forward and prevent them from driving. It may be an uncomfortable conversation but we’re friends, that bad conversation will be fine in the morning.
DUI suspected in fatal Jeep rollover on the Rubicon
A 49-year-old Auburn man suffered fatal injuries early Sunday after the 1986 Jeep in which he was a passenger rolled over in rugged terrain in the Rubicon wilderness area in the northeastern reaches of El Dorado County.
Dead at the scene of the 2 a.m. accident was John Gary Cawley, who was not wearing a seat belt when the Jeep driven by Kurt William Steever, 27, tumbled over as the pair traversed the treacherous landscape, according to the California Highway Patrol’s Placerville office.
Public Information Officer Andrew Brown said the driver, from Citrus Heights, suffered scratches and some cuts to his face but was not seriously injured. Steever was wearing his seat belt, according to CHP reports.
“Alcohol is believed to have been a factor” in the fatal mishap, said the PIO, who added that Cawley was ejected from the Jeep when the vehicle rolled onto its top, then rolled onto the victim, causing grievous injuries that led to his death.
CHP officers drove to Loon Lake in order to retrieve the victim’s body, along with taking custody of the suspect for booking into jail after his injuries were treated.
The area where the fatal rollover occurred is so remote that the CHP has asked the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office to try to pinpoint it more accurately, using longitude and latitude figures provided. A helicopter team has been asked to provide aerial shots of the accident location as the investigation continues.
Officer Brown said there isn’t even a side road nearby with a name that would bear mention in trying to explain where the accident happened.