Surveyor dies in Johnson Valley

Report: man was surveying for Marine base expansion project

By KRIS REILLY
Editor

JOHNSON VALLEY • A man died last week of unknown causes while surveying the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle area for the proposed Marine base expansion, according to sheriff’s department documents.

Foul play was not suspected, according to a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department report.

On Nov. 14, a group of surveyors was several miles north of the intersection of Bessemer Mine Road and Old Woman Springs Road, east of Lucerne Valley.

A man identified as John Patrick Mike began coughing and needed to take a break; he then started convulsing. Members of the group attempted CPR, but Mike died at the scene — in a remote location accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicles.

A deputy was called at 1:49 p.m., and later the coroner was called to the scene.

There were no signs of trauma to the body, according to the deputy’s report.

The Marines have made it clear that the Johnson Valley OHV area is their preferred location for the expansion of the Twentynine Palms base.

As of press time on Monday, the Marines had not yet released a record of decision (ROD) on their expansion plans, but the ROD is expected before the end of the year. The final decision will be made by Congress at an undetermined date.