Minor motorcycle crash on closed Death Valley road forces U.S. Navy rescue response

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A U.S. Navy helicopter was dispatched to rescue two California men after a crash on a closed road at Death Valley National Park on Saturday.

Charges are pending, according to a news release from the park.

The two men went around a locked gate, concrete barriers and a closure sign to take their motorcycles on Titus Canyon Road. One of the men crashed, breaking his collarbone and sustaining other non-life-threatening injuries just before sunset. They called 911 on a satellite phone, but rangers could not reach them promptly due to the road conditions.

A National Park Service employee walks through an eroded section of Titus Canyon Road. (NPS photo)

Rangers called for helicopter assistance and a VX-31 helicopter responded from the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, about 80 miles to the southwest.

The two men were transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital in California.

Titus Canyon is one of the park’s most popular backcountry drives, according to the news release. “When open, the 27-mile high-clearance road provides access to Leadfield ghost town, petroglyphs at Klare Spring, and spectacular canyon narrows.”

The road was closed in August when flooding devastated the park, forcing the entire park to close. The park has been gradually reopening roads, but Titus Canyon remains closed. On Monday, Badwater Road was fully reopened.

The men told authorities they were following a map app showing the road as open.

Original News Source Link – KLAS

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