1 man killed and 4 injured while four-wheeling

April 19, 2015

UPDATE: The driver of the Jeep that crashed into a Ravine Saturday night was  Andrew Joseph Kruep, 25, from Orinda. He died Saturday night. Krueps passengers were Darren Thomas Mullen, 25,  Sean Ross Mullen, 22, and Myles Andrew Franklin, 21, all from San Luis Obispo and Spencer N. Blodgett, 24, from Lafayette. Al four passengers suffered severe injuries, said California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Mike Rigby.

A spokesperson for Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno said that all four survivors were eventually transferred there. Franklin and brothers Sean and Darren Mullen are currently in fair condition. Blodgett was treated and released.

An earlier source related to another responding agency said all five men were Cal Poly students. A Cal Poly spokesperson said Monday that none of the victims are Cal Poly students.


One man is dead and four others are injured after the Jeep they were allegedly four-wheeling in rolled multiple times before coming to rest more than 600 feet down a steep ravine on Saturday, sources said.

Aireal photograph of trail

The sandy trail the Cal Poly students were driving along.

Early Saturday morning, five men were four-wheeling on sandy trails between Highway 101 and Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County when the narrow path they were on gave way and their Jeep began to slide into a steep ravine. The Jeep then rolled several times ejecting the men who were not wearing seat belts.

About 1:50 a.m., one of the men called 911 from his cell phone. Emergency crews from the California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire and Fort Hunter Liggett responded. However, there was almost no visibility and little moonlight.

A helicopter pilot with Mercy Air from Fort Hunter Liggett used night vision goggles and was able to spot a victim on the ground waving a flash light. The pilot radioed the GPS coordinates to other agencies while he circled above the area.

The Fort Hunter Ligget Mercy Air and CHP helicopters preparing to transport the victims.

The Fort Hunter Liggett Mercy Air and CHP helicopters preparing to transport the victims.

An officer in a CHP helicopter used a forward looking infrared device to detect body heat from the victims on the ground. The inferred showed that two of the men were moving and three of the victims were not. However, the helicopters were unable to land in the rugged terrain and needed to wait until first light in the morning.

It took more than four hours for emergency crews to reach the victims. During the night, one of the men passed away.

Liggett transported the victims to a landing area where emergency workers noted a strong smell of alcohol on the men, sources said. Based on their apparel, it is possible they were on a hunting trip.

Mercy Air transported one victim to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, CHP transported another to Templeton who was subsequently transferred to Fresno and Fresno Life Flight transported the remaining two men to Fresno.

The names of the victims and their medical conditions are not being released at this time.

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  1. Murse says:

    Andrew Joseph Kruep of Los Altos Hills, CA died from injuries sustained in a car accident near Lockwood California on April 18th, 2015. He was 24. He was a front seat passenger in a rollover accident in a rugged mountainous area of Monterey County, Ca.

    He is survived by his parents Donna and Randall Kruep along with younger sister Julia and younger brother Christian , all of Los Altos Hills, CA. He is also survived by his paternal grandmother Babe Kruep of Breese, Illinois and maternal grandparents Richard and Evelyn Goestenkors of Carlyle, Illinois. He is also survived by a large extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

    He was born on May 12th, 1990 in St. Louis, Missouri where he lived his early years prior to moving to Denver and ultimately to Los Altos Hills, CA where he lived majority of his young life.

    An avid sports enthusiast and outdoorsman, he played both college lacrosse and football before hanging up his cleats to focus on a BSc degree in Biochemistry which he completed at St. Mary’s College in May 2014. He also attended Willamette University and was a graduate of The Pinewood School in Los Altos Hills, CA where he captained the football team.

    He was employed after college graduation by Land Sciences Technologies, an environmental remediation technology firm where he served as the business development manager for the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. He had plans to attend business school before his life was tragically cut short.

    He was a member of St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Los Altos yet his true spirit and empathy towards others could be seen in places like the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford where he spent many Sunday nights playing with the young brothers and sisters of very sick kids. Young children loved the big kid with the big smile and calming voice.

    While he excelled in the sciences he also studied architecture for a summer at USC. He produced a substantial amount of art while at Pinewood School which was featured in exhibitions.

    He enjoyed a wide variety of activities and especially relished the time spent at the family ranch where he hunted wild boar, deer and quail. He was an exceptional snow skier, a voracious reader, and an aspiring self taught chef and baker. He learned to sail on San Francisco Bay and play guitar as a young boy. He was an aggressive mountain biker, loved to hike, and recently took up Thai kick boxing. He loved going to Golden State Warriors games with his family and seeing the 49ers with his father and “Uncle Terry.”

    He had the opportunity to travel the world and took full advantage. As a result he was fascinated with global peoples their culture, food, music and language. He developed many friendships both close to home and around the world.

    He approached life with a great deal of curiosity and gusto. He was a quick study, funny and witty. He never backed down from anything or anyone. His kindness could be seen by the way he played with his puppy Greta.

    He will be sorely missed by his many friends who will miss his warm heart, big smile and zest for life. Among the many things he was ——— he was a great brother and son. In the Jesuit tradition he had become a man for others.

    Visitation will be held at Spangler Mortuary on Wednesday April 22nd from 4-9 P.M. and Thursday April 23rd from 9:30-10:30 A.M. A celebration of life funeral mass will be held Thursday April 23rd at St. Nicholas Church, 473 Lincoln, Los Altos at 11:00 followed by internment in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  2. ShootTheMessenger says:

    Sorry CCN.

    The photos used in this article are copyrighted by Aaron Ochs.

    Please cease and desist the use of the photos or you will face the wrath of my attorneys in San Francisco that is paid for by my handlers.


    (-8) 12 Total Votes - 2 up - 10 down
    • kettle says:


      The funny/sad part is Aaron could of applied himself, have his own life, home, success etc

      Instead he is left holding the bag, bad karma, -reputation etc.

      But he still has his PlayStation.


      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  3. slocalgal says:

    Andrew Kruep:


    (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
  4. Kevin Rice says:

    At what time of day is it OKAY to recreate outdoors? Is 10 p.m. the curfew? I don’t see that time of day has anything to do with anything.

    (-1) 13 Total Votes - 6 up - 7 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Elwood: “It’s 106 miles to Chicago. We got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark ….and we’re wearing sunglasses”.
      Jake: “Hit It !”.

      (-5) 11 Total Votes - 3 up - 8 down
    • Perspicacious says:

      I think time of day only matters if they are “hunting” as referenced in the article.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  5. Jorge Estrada says:

    I worked in that area for almost 20 years and can not think of a location that would take 4 four hours to access. I’m going with the statement that “moving bodies were detected” with the helicopters and then left until a more convenient time to get them, did not sound very important.

    Yes there is a chance they were drunk and yes that is their fault but we are a culture that pick and choose which form of stupidity is ok. Think about it, Boxing? Football? why not just say gladiators.

    (-10) 18 Total Votes - 4 up - 14 down
    • SLO_Johnny says:

      It was the middle of the night and the Jeep was in very steep terrain. The rescuers managed to get the victims hundreds of feet down a steep slope before sunrise. What do you expect them to do? It doesn’t help the situation if the rescue squad has to be rescued.

      (19) 25 Total Votes - 22 up - 3 down
    • easymoney says:

      I have hunted that area for decades and the road in to the tower is a ridge with steep sides dropping off both sides. Now, maybe they were hunting at night, maybe they were not drinking, but for sure and for certain someone not used to the area and especially on a dark night driving a two track could easily go over the edge. The nearest manned fire stations are going to be Camp Bob, King City or Greenfield with Paso or San Miguel coming in last. It could take hours to reach a vehicle over the side, especially at night depending on location.
      Lucky more were not killed.
      A few years back a fully loaded jeep rolled backwards off of TV tower road in the middle of the night and it did not have a happy outcome, long before fire got there…

      (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
      • slocalgal says:

        The nearest manned fire station is Ft. Hunter Liggett. I think they transported the victims to the landing area using a four wheel drive ambulance.

        (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
    • Murse says:

      @Jorge Estrada

      I’m not sure what sort of “work” you did in that area but you are mistaken. It apparently took almost eight hours to extract these guys and multiple agencies were working to locate them from the moment they were toned out. It was pitch black on a remote dirt road with a steep drop off into a ravine over 700 feet below. Imagine a 4-wheel EMS vehicle driving around in the dark trying to find the location where a vehicle left the road. That, in itself, is not an easy task. To complicate matters, the passengers were ejected from the vehicle down the course of 700 feet and were probably not together. So once EMS figured out where they were, they had to navigate down hundreds of feet of brush and then find each of the guys, treat each for major injuries before they were “packaged” to be hauled up the mountain by hand using ropes. Apparently it required a 4-wheel drive ambulance to get each of them to the landing area so they could be flown to the hospital.

      To suggest that the first responders “left until a more convenient time” is an insult to every first responder and especially the many people that worked hard for hours to extract these guys from rugged terrain 700 feet below a dirt road in a remote area.

      P.S. Anytime there is a call for a person ejected from a vehicle it is considered the most serious accident and EMS crews from several agencies respond immediately until the victim is stabilized and/or transported to the hospital.

      (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  6. topper01 says:

    “Based on their apparel, it is possible they were on a hunting trip.” No mention of weapon(s) recovered. Best not to were my camos while shopping least I be accused of “hunting”.

    (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
  7. LOVESLO says:

    So quick to judge…any comments short of condolences to the families of these young men seem heartless, given that someones son has died. Has it been that long you don’t remember being young and dumb.

    (4) 18 Total Votes - 11 up - 7 down
    • Perspicacious says:

      As “young and dumb” as I was I never went “hunting” at 2AM on a moonless night with a vehicle full of alcohol.

      (2) 26 Total Votes - 14 up - 12 down

Comments are closed.