A 31-year-old Fontana man died in a rollover crash Sunday at the Means Dry Lakebed in Johnson Valley. Francisco Macias was driving a 2020 CanAm north of the dry lake with two passengers: Steve Larios, 39, of San Dimas, and Norma Oceguera, 42, of Fontana. Macias made an unsafe turning movement and the off-road vehicle overturned. Francisco Macias sustained fatal injuries in the crash. Larios and Oceguera were injured and were taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs. All the occupants were wearing seatbelts, but not helmets. It’s not known at this time if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.
Three people were injured following a crash with an off-road vehicle and dirt bike in Johnson Valley Saturday. Morongo Basin Ambulance was called to Darrensette Road near Means Dry Lake for the crash about 3:38 p.m. The injured 26-year-old male dirt bike rider was airlifted from the scene and flown to Loma Linda Medical Center. A 26-year-old woman and 6-year-old boy in the sand rail were taken by MBA to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs.
Many people will be taking advantage of closed schools and workplaces by riding their off-road vehicles in the desert. Reporter Andrew Dieleman says to ride responsibly…
The Sheriff’s Department reminds residents that the operation of off-highway vehicles is regulated. County ordinances say groups of 10 or more OHV users must obtain a “Staging Permit” from Code Enforcement. The use of OHVs on private property requires written permission as well. Open OHV riding is permitted in the Bureau of Land Management or BLM- managed Johnson Valley OHV recreation area, 20 miles north of Yucca Valley on Highway 247 at Boone Road. OHV use is also allowed on several BLM designated routes throughout the Morongo Basin. Locations of these routes and use restrictions can be found on the BLM’s website at BLM.gov under the Barstow Field Office area.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department plans to apply for another year of grant funding through the State of California’s Department of Parks and Recreation for its off-road vehicle enforcement program. The Sheriff’s Department has used this grant source since 2006. For application review and public comment, see the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle website at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov. The public comment period begins March 3 to May 4, 2020.
A Yucca Valley man had a great Dakar Experience. Blade Hildebrand, 21, was one of three teammates representing Team USA in the Dakar Rally 2020, which was held January 5-17 for the first time in Saudi Arabia. Racing for 12 days in a side-by-side vehicle across 4,700 miles, of which 75 percent was in sand, Hildebrand got stuck in Stage 2 and was forced to withdraw from the race; however, under new rules, he was able to continue the rest of the race in a new classification, the “Dakar Experience,” in which the racer is included in stage rankings, but is not included in the overall rankings or classification. Hildebrand led or was just a few seconds behind the leader from stage 7 on. He was a top 3 finisher in the Dakar Rally, was just 30 seconds behind the overall leader of the side-by-side class, and came in a minute faster than the driver who officially placed second.