Tuesday, April 13, a big rig truck towing a loaded flatbed trailer was traveling southbound on US-395 just south of Conway Summit. A witness reported that the big rig was traveling at a high rate of speed before the crash.
The roadway was covered with snow, and R-1 chain conditions were in effect. The big rig did not have chains installed. The driver of the big rig attempted to negotiate the left curve at Mono Lake Vista Point when the it began to lose traction.
The driver was unable to safely negotiate the turn and the vehicle slid off of the west roadway edge, where it collided with a guardrail. The vehicle continued through the guardrail, down the steep embankment, and rolled over onto its left side. The truck went through approximately 200 feet of guardrail and 100 feet down the embankment.
A major wind event predicted by the National Weather Service started around 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 13, and increased so strongly that Highway 395 was shut down for several hours to high profile vehicles and big rigs.
By 4:00 p.m., numerous big rigs , stopped by CHP, lined southbound Hwy. 395 from the Bishop golf course entrance south to Sunland Reservation Road, and many more were parked on Sunland Res. Rd, all the way back to Sunland Drive,
Southbound trucks were also stopped in Bridgeport. Northbound trucks were stopped in Pearsonville with travel restrictions all the way north to the Nevada border. There were no travel restrictions, other than high wind warnings, in place on Highway 6, until trucks got into Bishop.
At 7:08 p.m., CHP allowed southbound trucks to travel down Highway 395, with caution. CHP continued to evaluate the situation, and allowed northbound trucks in Pearsonville to resume their travel at 7:30 p.m.
The National Weather Service stated the wind event would expire at 10:00 p.m.
Trucks lined up on Sunland Res. Rd. from Hwy 395 to Sunland Dr.
(Updated April 15 by Inyo County Sheriff’s Office)
Inyo County Sheriffs Office reports that a forensic autopsy shows Alexander Lofgren died from his injuries while hiking. There is no foul play suspected.
(Updated details from Facebook, GoFund Me, and previous reports by KIBS/KBOV News)
The brother of rescued hiker Emily Henkel posted on Facebook a GoFundMe page has been set up on behalf of the couple and the families.
Henkle’s boyfriend, Alexander Lofgren, both of Tucson, succumbed to his injuries before he could be rescued by Inyo County Search and Rescue on Friday. This after Thursday’s aerial rescuers were unable to repel close enough to the couple to assist, Henkle suffered a severe foot injury.
After the couple didn’t return on their planned date, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office organized a multi-day search by numerous agencies, both by air and on the ground, checking every pull out along Hwy. 190 – their planned route,
Their vehicle was found around 11:00 a.m. Thursday on Gold Valley Road. A note stated they had two flat tires and were heading to Mormon Point (where they would find the nearest road) with a three-day supply of water.
The missing couple was found about two hours later, in Death Valley National Park, near Willow Creek, on a very steep ledge.
The GoFundMe page was created by Chris Henkel. After explaining how the couple’s Subaru became stranded with two flat tires in a remote region of Death Valley, Henkel and Lofgren “…tried to make it through Willow Creek Canyon to the nearest road for help.”
No other details have yet been released by the family and the case is still under investigation by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.
Inyo County Sheriff’s Office is grateful to the following agencies for their assistance: Inyo County SAR, Death Valley National Park, Calif. Office of Emergency Services, China Lake NAWS, Lemoore NAS. Army National Guard, and CHP.
(STORY UPDATED BY INYO COU TY SHERIFF’S OFFICE – Saturday 4-10-21)
Inyo County SAR were able to access the remote and steep ledge around 11:40 a.m., Saturday. Hiker Alexander Lofgren was confirmed deceased. An investigation into the cause of his death continues. Hiker Emily Henkel was airlifted to the hospital by air support from Lemoore Naval Air Station.
Original Report – Posted 4-9-21 . . .
Two missing hikers from Tucson, AZ were found, yesterday afternoon, April 8, in Death Valley National Park, reported the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.
32-year-old Alexander Lofgren, and 27-year-old Emily Henkel were spotted through aerial reconnaissance in a very remote area of Death Valley National Park near Willow Creek, on a very steep ledge.
A hoist operation was attempted, but due to the extreme location the two team members who rappelled down were unable to reach Lofgren and Henkel.
Inyo Sheriff’s report it is unclear what condition Lofgren and Henkel are in. Today an Inyo Search and Rescue technical team will travel to Death Valley National Park and will descend the canyon as soon as they arrive.
The missing white Subaru was located first by Death Valley National Park rangers at approximately 11:00 a.m. off of Gold Valley Road. A note was located in the vehicle that read, “Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days worth of water.” This note proved to be a crucial tip in directing search efforts. The location of the vehicle was not included in Lofgren’s backcountry itinerary.
A search was initiated on Tuesday, April 6, after Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received notification that Lofgren and Henkel had not returned by their due date of April 4. Lofgren’s backcountry itinerary was thoroughly checked along with every attraction and tourist site along Highway 190, with no results.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following agencies: Inyo County Search and Rescue, The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following agencies: Inyo County Search and Rescue, Death Valley National Park, CalOES, and China Lake Naval Weapons Base for aerial support.
As part of the state’s $491 million allocation to address transportation needs, two projects are coming to Inyo and Mono Counties.
Several new Chain Control Turnouts will be constructed on Highway 395 and Highway 6, about seven miles north of Bishop, adding lighting, signage, and a median crossover. Existing chain install areas will be improved and expanded to make it safer for motorists in the winter time.
In the Shoshone area , 42 miles of lane will be rehabilitated along Highway 127, all the way to the Nevada state line.
Saturday & Sunday, April 3 & 4 – Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department fire truck will be driving through neighborhoods passing out candy, from the Lone Pine Lion’s Club. Saturday , April 3, Lone Pine 10am start, Alabama Hills 10am start, Olancha 2pm start. Easter Sunday, April 4, Keeler 10am start, Independence 10am.
7:00 a.m.- 8:00 a.m. – The annual Easter Sunrise Service will be held in Lone Pine, but not in the usual place – up in the Alabama’s. It will be in Spainhower Park in Lone Pine.
Hosted by the Lone Pine Church of the Nazarene, RCA Church, and Lone Pine Baptist Church.
10:00 a.m. – Easter Celebration – First Presbyterian Church, 585 N. Main St., Bishop
Noon – 2:00 p.m. – Big Pine Easter Eggtravaganza – Mendenhall Park, drive through, Easter Bunny, eggs and goodies for the kids.
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Church of the Sierras, 251 Sierra St, Bishop, Easter Concert & egg hunt, behind the church in the park . Bring chairs or blankets.
In the early morning of November 9, 2020, a snowplow driver discovered two bodies on the shoulder of Highway 395, approximately 10 miles north of Bridgeport. The victims, identified as William and Yesenia Larsen, husband and wife, from Burbank, California, had no known connection to Mono County.
Due to the unusual circumstances, the deaths were investigated as a double homicide. A thorough investigation ensued, which led our Investigators to the determination that several former business associates of the victims were connected to the deaths.
The investigation was presented to the Mono County District Attorney’s Office on March 18, 2021, for consideration of filing charges for the deaths of William and Yesenia Larsen. The District Attorney’s Office issued arrest warrants for: Bradley Kohorst, age 35; Cory Spurlock, age 33; and Orit Oged, age 32. Kohorst, Spurlock and Oged all reside in Missoula, Montana.
Bradley Kohorst was taken into custody in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday, March 22, 2021. Cory Spurlock and Orit Oged were arrested in Missoula, Montana, on Thursday, March 25, 2021. All three remain in custody awaiting extradition to Mono County.
Every member of the Mono County Sheriff’s Office played a part in solving this crime. Our Investigators worked tirelessly to find justice for the families of William and Yesenia Larsen. This investigation proved to be complex and required the assistance of local, state and federal partners. We especially recognize the California Department of Justice – Special Operations Unit, whose guidance and direct support was invaluable.
Many thanks to the following agencies for helping us solve this crime: California DOJ Special Operations, Unit, FBI, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Chico Police Department, Missoula Police Department, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, Phoenix Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Mono County District Attorney’s Office, Mono County Public Works, Mono County Search and Rescue, CHP, California Bureau of Forensic Services, DEA, and California Department of Transportation.
-from Mono County Sheriff’s Office
KIBS/KBOV News Notes: Reportedly the deaths may have occurred over a drug deal gone bad. Also there’s no update on the missing Redding, CA man that reportedly was carrying $400,000 to meet up with the homicide victims, in Reno, earlier in 2020. KIBS/KBOV News will follow up once more details are available.
Movies in the Movies is a DVD Collection of films shot in Mono County, housed at the June Lake Library, and available to check out through any Mono County Library branch.
Released by 20th Century Fox, the 2007 reboot brought back the lovable characters of Alvin, Simon, Theodore and their human, Dave Seville.
The first three-minute opening sequence was filmed above June Lake on Oh! Ridge, and along Hwy. 158 into the Village. (Also filmed in Inyo County on Hwy. 395 near the Division Creek Rest Area and passing the old, abandoned, green cafe in Olancha.)
The plot starts with the “Sierra Lakes Christmas Tree Farm” cutting down the Chipmunks’ tree and the journey to Hollywood stardom begins.
For all the Chipmunk lovers in the Eastern Sierras, in the end credits, the disclaimer reads, “No chipmunks were harmed during the filming of this movie.” The animated Chipmunks unfortunately did not stay in any June Lake motels while filming. So there’s no report on how the animated Chipmunks behaved in the Tiger Bar after the daily production ended.
– KIBS’ News Director Ken Harrison has been the volunteer curator of the DVD collection as a member of the June Lake Historical Society and June Lake Friends of the Library. Updated information is welcomed.
In their final home game of this wild regular season Head Volleyball Coach Dakota Day Otteson and her Tonopah Lady Muckers hosted Liberty Baptist Academy. Otteson coached side-by-side with her passionate Assistant Coach Amber Carter.
Coach Otteson’s Lady Muckers would cruise to a straight set victory 25-15, 25-12, 25-14. The Tonopah Lady Muckers appear to be playing their best Volleyball of the season, headed into the homestretch.
The Lady Muckers travel to Ely, NV this Saturday to do battle at White Pine High School.