Earthquake may be to blame for death of man found pinned under car, Nevada officials say

It appeared the man was working on the vehicle when it fell on him, and the accident may have been caused by a July 4 6.4-magnitude earthquake.
Image: Possible earthquake related death
Nye County Sheriff's deputies are investigating what is believed to be an earthquake related death of a 56-year-old man who was found pinned underneath the vehicle shown.Nye County Sheriff's Office

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By Phil Helsel

A 56-year-old man was found dead pinned underneath a vehicle Tuesday in Nevada, and officials say an earthquake may be to blame.

The man was last seen at a gas station July 3 and was likely killed while working on his car the following day, Nye County, Nevada, sheriff’s Sgt. Adam Tippetts said in a video statement.

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"This death may be the result of the vehicle falling off the jacks on July 4 during the earthquake,” Tippetts said in the statement.

The 6.4-magnitude quake rattled Southern California and was felt in Nevada. A stronger 7.1-magnitude temblor that hit the same region the following day.

The man was not immediately identified, pending notification of next of kin.

If the cause is confirmed, his death would be the first reported in the earthquakes that struck near Ridgecrest, California, on July 4 and 5.

It appeared that the vehicle was jacked up safely and based on tools and the position of the body it is thought he was working on the vehicle when it fell, Tippetts said.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake was the strongest to hit Southern California in two decades, experts have said. Officials have said that no deaths and no major injuries were reported in California in either of the two earthquakes.

Pahrump is a town of around 36,400 near the California-Nevada border, around 105 miles northeast of Ridgecrest.