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.

Don’t miss links to breaking news stories, like CCN on Facebook.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Compassion for the loss of life and injury, but having said that, there is a public resource angle to this……..Five adults made the choice to four wheel in the dark without seat belts. They blame the embankment collapse for the whole thing. More like the dummy at the wheel drove OFF of risky conditions.

Yep, bill ’em for the resources they chewed up including helicopter time at probably $ 1,200 an hour, medical and CalFire people. They should not be covered by “paying taxes” for really dumb, assumption of risk behaviors which result in six figure public resources expenditure. Hope they have health insurance. I carry private insurance for me or others doing dumb stuff (medical payments to others, liability and on the ranch) heavy insurance to cover even a trespassing hiker or hunter who gets injured on the place while there illegally.

Just an opinion. LameCommenter is full of them, some good, some not so good.

Pretty right-wing stuff, Lame.

Other people that should be billed—according to your mindset:

(1) Skiers, hikers, paragliders, parachuters. Those people are engaging in really dumb, risky behavior.

(2) Anyone dumb enough to cross the desert or ocean sneaking into the country.

(3) Anyone that has a grease, Christmas tree, or self-caused fire.

(4) Auto collision victims. Because someone is almost always at fault.

(5) Anyone who falls off a ladder, trips, or cuts themself on a knife. They should have been more careful.

Actually, everyone should be billed for every rescue. Because you were either eating greaseburgers all your life and caused your own heart attack, or you were taking a risk or being ignorant 97% of the time.

So, who will be the “dumb authority” that gets to decide who is dumb and who had an unforeseen accident?

In a civilized country, we help those who need rescue.

Kevin, only if the negligence of alcohol is involved do I say all bets are off.

Yep. Kevin is comparing apples and oranges.

An elderly man who trips over his dog isn’t in the same boat as a jeep full of drunken young men, cruising over rugged terrain–at one in the morning!

If anyone is involved in Kevin’s list of five examples, then yes, they should be helped out by professionals paid to do such rescue work.

BUT if the person involved in items one through five of Kevin’s list are drunk orhigh (on illegal OR legal drugs), then a $$$ charge should definitely be involved.

No, Kev I can see some easy, non-arbitrary guidelines for billing NOT “comping” rescue costs. Violation of specific common sense safety ordinance (seat belts), operation in an extreme off road area (mountain trails) coupled with loss-of-control accident, failure of driver to require seat belt use of adult and child passengers. Also how about operation resulting in an inverted vehicle (indicates extreme speed?), maybe conveying intoxicated persons.

So billing them isn’t as arbitrary, nor as inclusive, as you attempt to ascribe to my “mindset”. Extreme cases of recklessness, or of assumption of risk, could be recovered against the same way California recovers for fire suppression costs, something you probably know about. A court or tribunal examines for evidence of reckless disregard?

Not a lot of “legal” hunting going on at 2AM, that’s for sure.

Sometimes lame ideas sound so great when you’re plastered.

Maybe CalPoly should change it’s motto to: “Learn by doing… after you’re sober again.”

Poly Royal week-end strikes again!! I do not know what can be done about the out of control students who choose to be recklessly drinking and misbehaving….but SOMETHING needs to be done!!

While I am sorry for the deceased man’s family and friends, and hope for full recovery of the injured, I find it hard to shed tears when alcohol was involved. Most likely, ALL of them had alcohol in their system and therefore share responsibility in this tragedy.

I’d suggest we tally up all of the costs that we spent on the various emergency services, and bill the individuals who lived. It might be $20-30,000 per young adult.

…and charge them for their part of the federal and California budget, and the military, and the roads, and, and, and… oh, wait… IT’S CALLED TAXES, and they already paid a share to provide services to ANYONE in need.

Watch what you say, they’ll be calling you a radical, a liberal, a fanatical criminal.

Supertramp- “The Logical Song”- off their “Breakfast in America” album, 1979.

You really should have put quotation marks around the lyrics, to avoid any

potential liability issues.

But I appreciate the apt and clever citation nevertheless.

you have dated yourself but i’ll be humming the song all day. then we we can take a look at my girl friend

I am a liberal. So?

4 wheeling and not wearing seatbelts. So sad. Makes no sense.

Life is fleeting. A wisp of wind.

May the God of our creation comfort the family, families of those involved.

Been four-wheeling much? Sometimes NOT being belted in is the safer choice. Would you rather jump free of a tipping vehicle, or be belted in while it tumbles over and over down a brush-covered hillside?

I’d rather be belted in. It’s much safer to remain in the vehicle. The most important thing is to avoid driving in dangerous locations like this area. Many off-roaders think they are invincible and greatly exaggerate their driving skills.

Jeep hard tops are not really that strong, more like a camper shell, and factory roll bars are mostly just for show. If the vehicle had a full cage, you might have a point, but they don’t come from the factory like that.

Hmmmm….contemplating your advice and how it DIDN’T help these young men…I think I will stay seatbelted.

The same could be said about anyone on the road at 2 in the morning you heartless puke. It doesn’t take a man to make fun of a dead person. Have a heart and think about this kids family instead of your ego.

You missed the alcohol part.

We do not know if the driver had alcohol in his system. It is possible but it is not a foregone conclusion. The men were apparently on a hunting trip in a remote area where hunting is common. They had alcohol along with other provisions in their Jeep which tumbled 600 feet down a ravine, spilling the contents of the Jeep everywhere. They EMS workers said they smelled alcohol when they were able to reach the victims hours after the accident. It does not necessarily mean the driver was intoxicated. I am more concerned for these young men and their families than I am condemning them at this time.

Want to place a wager on alcohol being a factor?

Yeah! Let’s go 4-wheelin’ at 2am! Woooohoooo! Chillax, brah, it’s all good!

Were they all too worried about being the “pussy” that says “NO” to this brilliant idea? Wow.

@r0y No matter how unwise these young men were to take a Jeep off-road at night (presumably to go hunting) someone’s son died in this accident. It’s tragic.

Did you miss the part about alcohol being involved?

I remember being young and thinking I knew everything, when in fact I was young and stupid.This sounds like a case of young people being out to have a good time and tragedy struck.

My heart goes out to the family of those who were lost, and the others in the car who survived and have to live with this memory.

Drinking and driving, not too many tears from me.

Drunk driving around in a rural area on a moonless night does not have anything to do with “hunting” at all. That closer resembles foolish behavior that is dangerous to yourself and others. No one made them drink and drive around in places they have no business being.


Who? The poster above or the drunk driver who killed his passenger, most likely drunk also?