Family dies in Mariposa county due to possible mineshaft gasses

firebird

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https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/19/us/yosemite-family-death-trnd/index.html

Be careful out there guys. I've prospected in that area before and I swear I could smell something unpleasant in the water in the creeks there like gas. Authorities are still unsure what killed the family, no obvious signs of death/wounds and best theory so far is either mineshaft gasses from the old mines in the area or algae bloom in the creeks.
 
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Red-Coat

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Wanted to read your link, but can't get past the "pay wall".

Seems to be no logicality to the way content is restricted. I couldn't read the extended article in the Mariposa Gazette for the same reason, and I often have problems with US news sources not giving access to European IP addresses. Didn't have any problem with the San Francisco Chronicle though. There's some 'second-hand' reporting in the UK Daily Mail (but bear in mind it's a tabloid gutter-press newspaper, one step up from Fox News):

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...baby-died-remote-California-hiking-trail.html
 

Clay Diggins

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Some here might find it interesting, and even instructive?, that the mother was not found with the father, daughter and dog. She was out of sight and off the trail, they located her when they spotted the clothing she shed.
 

JVA5th

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Always found this case weird. I've been around that area many times. Just seems so strange what happened to that family.
 

Treasure_Hunter

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Heatstroke can incapacitate someone quickly, become delirious, confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.

"Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke, can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher. The condition is most common in the summer months."


"Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death."

I lost a good friend to heatstroke when I lived in Missouri, he was by himself on a farm tractor and no one there to help him.
 
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Wanted to read your link, but can't get past the "pay wall".
So odd. Not you, but forum peeps in general (lots of forums) . Many have pay wall issues, but when I click the link ... there I am instantly, no pay wall issues. I am fairly confident that I am not paying anyone, so why would others have a pay wall issue when there is none for me?


Might have to do with how many times a person has accessed any particular place in a given time frame, using up 'free views'..
 

Red-Coat

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So odd. Not you, but forum peeps in general (lots of forums) . Many have pay wall issues, but when I click the link ... there I am instantly, no pay wall issues. I am fairly confident that I am not paying anyone, so why would others have a pay wall issue when there is none for me?


Might have to do with how many times a person has accessed any particular place in a given time frame, using up 'free views'..

Yes, that's a possibility.

For me, it's often because my European IP address signals to the site that they can't use my data to trigger tailored advertising without my specific permission under European (including UK) law; or (in the case of sites hosting video content) because there are copyright issues outside the US.

I've also had the "you have reached your limit of free articles" message. Usually I can reset the clock back to zero by selectively deleting the "essential" cookies they're using to identify me.
 

Treasure_Hunter

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So odd. Not you, but forum peeps in general (lots of forums) . Many have pay wall issues, but when I click the link ... there I am instantly, no pay wall issues. I am fairly confident that I am not paying anyone, so why would others have a pay wall issue when there is none for me?


Might have to do with how many times a person has accessed any particular place in a given time frame, using up 'free views'..
like a lot of sites, you get a few free reads a month after which they require you to join. I run into several of them each month. Wall Street Journal is one.
 

Red-Coat

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For those blocked by the pay wall, some salient points that the SF Chronicle gleaned from the 77 pages of official reports:

Numerous experts suggested to detectives that the family had catastrophically underestimated how dangerous their trek would be in the summer heat, that they hadn’t taken nearly enough water with them, and were “completely unaware of the dangers.” A U.S. Forest Service employee familiar with the trail said that locals “stay clear of it” during the summer months. One local disparagingly described the couple to investigators as “city folk”, citing as an example that they bought their firewood from the store rather than cutting their own.

The cause of death for the family was finalised as “hyperthermia and probable dehydration”. They essentially got too hot, causing their brains to shut down, followed by their organs.

A search of Mr Gerrish’s ‘AllTrails’ app history indicated he had hiked a portion of the same loop in May 2017, when the weather was probably cooler. On the day of the tragedy, the air temperature was 76 degrees when they started out in the early morning, 99 degrees three hours later, and peaked at 109 degrees in the afternoon. The ground temperature would have been higher, exacerbated by the lack of shade.

Mr Gerrish wore dark shorts, a yellow T-shirt and tennis shoes. Ms Chung wore hiking boots, spandex shorts and a yellow tank top. The baby was dressed in a short-sleeved onesie and shoes, and was strapped into a carrier on Mr Gerrish’s back. Ms Chung’s backpack contained a snakebite kit, knife, bug spray, first aid kit, extra diapers, an empty sippy cup with the residue of what was probably baby formula, another empty sippy cup, and the empty wrapper from a teething wafer.

Ms Chung was also carrying a 2.5 liter water bladder with only “a few remaining drops” of water, which tested negative for toxins. The toxins detected in the river adjacent to the trail were at a level that a dog would have to drink multiple liters to be at risk of death. The dog was an Aussie-Akita mix, with a thick coat that would have made it more susceptible to heat exhaustion. At most, they could have been carrying barely a quarter of what would be regarded as a sensible amount of water for their collective needs, even if all had gone well, and they had no filtration equipment.

The couple’s wallets, their cell phones and other electronic devices (apart from one cell phone owned by Mr Gerrish), and the diaper bag that their babysitter said always accompanied the family on their days out were all found at their home. Mr Gerrish’s cell phone was in the front pocket of his shorts and the FBI have still not managed to unlock it. Network coverage is not good along the trail, such that the phone may have been of little use.

The bodies were found about 1.6 miles below the trailhead, on a series of steep switchbacks of the Savage Lundy Trail. Mr Gerrish was found with his daughter and dog. There was disturbed dirt on the uphill side of the trail suggesting someone had tried to climb up it, leading to one of Ms Chung’s boots, and then her body some 13 feet higher up than the rest of the family. The key fob for their car was found further along the trail, some 100 feet below Mr Gerrish’s body.

A survival trainer consulted by the investigating detectives advised: ““Sadly, I believe they were caught off guard, and once they realized their situation, they died trying to save their child and each other… It is likely the child began to succumb first, which hurried the parents’ efforts up the hill. When one could no longer continue, they stayed behind to care for the child and pet, while the other tried to forge on and get help for their loved ones. It is a tragedy of the highest order.”
 

GoDeep

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. One local disparagingly described the couple to investigators as “city folk”, citing as an example that they bought their firewood from the store rather than cutting their own.

Sure, i don't doubt they were "city folk" but his example has me questioning whether he's really a true "country boy" himself as his example is bunk. I often use bought firewood and i'm as country as they get. I grew up without running water (we hauled it in a 10 gallon milk can from a church a half mile down the road and this was in the 1980's), we didn't have plumbing (not even a outhouse, i had my little spot and i shat in the woods!) and we heated with a good old wood furnace and not these fancy ones that are outside in their own little shed and pump the heat in, it was in the house and only radiated it's heat out and it sucked when it was your turn in the middle of the night to stoke it up because you were freezing!

So yeah, just had to go off on that little tangent because, well, i'm GoDeep and thats what I do....
 

JVA5th

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I wanted to think it made no sense that they'd die like that. Then reading more into it trying to do that on a day reaching almost 109 is insane. No one being responded would take a baby on a hike like that. Tells me it wasn't well thought out at all. I mean here in California I myself have pushed myself on real hot days metal detecting and hiking out and about but I've lived here my whole life and dealt with the extreme heat and know my limits regardless and not to underestimate the heat.
 

russau

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I got affected by heat stroke 2 years ago while helping my son move out of his 2 rental lockers and BOY did it KICK MY BUT !!!!!!!!!!! Fortunately I had a lot of water to drink and some shade . IT WAS REALLY HOT THAT DAY and NO breeze was to be found ! Working 3 days in that heat was more than this ole dude could handle ! It took me atleast 3 days to feel better but still weak & sore. I DONT want to go there again !
 

Red-Coat

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The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office has released information pulled from the cellphone found in Mr Gerrish’s pocket after months of work by an FBI forensics team.

A failed attempt to send a text to an unnamed party was made just before noon on 15th August, reading; “Can you help us”, adding “No water or ver [over] heating with baby”.

This was followed by an attempt to make a call at 12:09 and then four further attempts in quick succession beginning at 12:35 to several numbers, but not including “911”. None of the calls connected due to poor reception coverage in the area.

Tragic.
 

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https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/19/us/yosemite-family-death-trnd/index.html

Be careful out there guys. I've prospected in that area before and I swear I could smell something unpleasant in the water in the creeks there like gas. Authorities are still unsure what killed the family, no obvious signs of death/wounds and best theory so far is either mineshaft gasses from the old mines in the area or algae bloom in the creeks.
Firebird Thanks for your posting. I keep trying to tell people be EXTREMELY CAREFUL when going down aa mine or well :(
 

Tesorodeoro

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Sure, i don't doubt they were "city folk" but his example has me questioning whether he's really a true "country boy" himself as his example is bunk. I often use bought firewood and i'm as country as they get. I grew up without running water (we hauled it in a 10 gallon milk can from a church a half mile down the road and this was in the 1980's), we didn't have plumbing (not even a outhouse, i had my little spot and i shat in the woods!) and we heated with a good old wood furnace and not these fancy ones that are outside in their own little shed and pump the heat in, it was in the house and only radiated it's heat out and it sucked when it was your turn in the middle of the night to stoke it up because you were freezing!

So yeah, just had to go off on that little tangent because, well, i'm GoDeep and thats what I do....
round here we call those wood stoves and they are in pretty much every house. In fact I just (re) started my fire this morning. Poured myself a steaming cup of coffee this morning but it was still too cold to drink. It’s sitting on top of the wood stove now. Get the idea? 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat attached is an option, but the folding chair with a hole cut in it is the most comfortable. Of course you should always have a shovel handy. No need to be silly unless you have to. Never bought firewood at the grocery store, but you do see city folk doing things like that. I have to ask though, why would someone select A spot to live that didn’t have a water source? Did your well dry up?
 

JVA5th

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Just nuts to me. I'm all over mariposa all the time one of my favorite metal detecting areas. I don't understand how you could make such a mistake. I mean I understand humans do all kinds of things that can lead us into bad situations but still. My worse situations with mariposa is poison oak I do not fair well with that stuff and it often sends me to a doctors visit. But other than that I've hiked all over mariposa no problem. Though being around here knowing the weather and all that in no way would I ever attempt such a thing on such a hot day it makes no sense to do so.
 

GoDeep

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round here we call those wood stoves and they are in pretty much every house. In fact I just (re) started my fire this morning. Poured myself a steaming cup of coffee this morning but it was still too cold to drink. It’s sitting on top of the wood stove now. Get the idea? 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat attached is an option, but the folding chair with a hole cut in it is the most comfortable. Of course you should always have a shovel handy. No need to be silly unless you have to. Never bought firewood at the grocery store, but you do see city folk doing things like that. I have to ask though, why would someone select A spot to live that didn’t have a water source? Did your well dry up?
Thats funny about the "steaming" coffee yet it still being cold. We once tried to boil water on our woodstove and got a lot of steam, but could never get it hot enough to boil. Looks hot, but is lukewarm....

It was woodland with no existing well and we didn't have, what was even in the 80's, $10,000 or so to have one drilled (we were relatively poor). I suppose dad could have hand dug some sort of seep well, but never did. We lived there for seven years before moving to a small town nearby. I still live in the area (Southeast Minnesota) and drive by where we lived and the new owners had a well drilled and septic system put in and now use it as a weekend hunting retreat.

Also, we cut our own firewood, but since dad also worked a job in town to get by, we sometimes had to buy firewood and have it delivered by the pickup load when we couldn't stockpile enough for the winter. So, again in response to that article claiming you can tell someone is from the city if they "buy" their firewood is pure bunk and i wonder if the journalist himself wasn't a city boy himself using a stereotype to make a point. Do city folk buy firewood, yes, but so do country folk, so you can't rely on it. I still buy those small bundles of wood you see at most rural gas stations when I'm going camping and I'm as country as they get!
 
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GoDeep

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This was the exact same woodstove we had, a Riteway. Try boiling water on it. no matter how much you stoke it, it'll only steam. We made a batch of gooey spaghetti noodles on it once and only once. It had clay like bricks in the bottom of it, that cracked and turned to dust after only a year of so of use and dad worked at welding shop, so he replaced then with solid steel "bricks" of the same size. As a young teen, i was impressed with those steel "bricks" he made. (must have just cut off some big 2x3 bar stock or the like).
 

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Peyton Manning

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They showed a map of where they went and where the bodies were found.
Part of their trail was by a river
Such preventable loss of lives
 

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