Van driver who damaged Death Valley salt flats may face fine and jail time

Mar 15, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Van driver who damaged Death Valley salt flats may face fine and jail time

Mar 15, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

Last week, photogenic and protected salt flats in Death Valley National Park were damaged.  A van driver left drove off a half mile off Badwater Road, leaving tracks in the salt flats. After doing this, he or she just left the vehicle there and left the site. And unfortunately, the tracks are not the only damage caused by this recklessness.

https://www.facebook.com/DeathValleyNP/posts/1499375760086701:0

Two days later, the National Park Service towed out the van using a tracked vehicle. As you can imagine, this caused even more damage to the salt flats. But according to the Park’s executives, the tow vehicle’s tracks left less impact than the van’s tires would have. One of the options was to remove the vehicle by using a helicopter, but it would have been too expensive.

The damage is not beyond repair, but it will take quite an amount of time to and work to smooth the tracks over and regrow the salt. What’s more, Death Valley applied for a 3-year grant to fund the restoration of damage done by vehicles driving off the road.

We’ve seen and reported different kinds of vandalism and disrespectfulness towards landmarks. Sometimes for the sake of taking photos, and sometimes just for being a dumbass. I believe this one falls into the latter category. It seems like someone didn’t need the old van any longer, so they thought: “Hey, why don’t I just leave it in the middle of the protected National Park area?” I may be wrong, but whatever the reason is, I can’t find an excuse for doing this. And it seems that the law can’t either.

The driver hasn’t been charged yet, but he may face up to $5,000 fine, up to 6 months in jail, or restitution charges for the tow and restoring salt pan. So, I guess that’s the price you pay for being reckless and disrespectful.

[via DPReview]

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 responses to “Van driver who damaged Death Valley salt flats may face fine and jail time”

  1. Jennifer Leedy Dallman Avatar
    Jennifer Leedy Dallman

    Wonder if someone stole the van and went joyriding, then left it there.

  2. cfw Avatar
    cfw

    In addition to hefty fines and incarceration, this moron should be required to do forced community labor for the next five years, cleaning latrines and outhouses throughout the national park service. The only way these kinds of idiots change behavior is when they realize their behavior has consequences that are unpleasant to them. He should also be required to go out there and smooth-over the tire marks with his tongue, although that might be considered “cruel and unusual” punishment. This driver insulted every American in the most disgusting way possible.

    1. blokeinusa Avatar
      blokeinusa

      Make him smoothe what he damaged with a tooth brush

  3. John from Detroit Avatar
    John from Detroit

    You know what the owner is going to say “Somebody stole my van I did not notice till you rang my doorbell”. Of course the fact it too days to get it out of there and ID the driver tells me how true that is. But, well (I have notified a few folks that their car had been stolen, and recovered, but usually it’s like 3AM Sunday Morning and the car was swiped around midnight that same night.. Kind of fun, In fact of all the phone calls I made as a police dispatcher, that’s #1 or #2 (I did once call a faimily to tell them their loved one was alive and well and resting at a shelter.. he had dementia and did not know how to get home, I spent a couple hours tracking him down, that was #1). But Do you know where yor car is at 3am.. Well his reaction when he returned to the phone after checking was priceless.