As the Bow Tie brand’s sole sedan offering, the Chevy Malibu is positioned as an everyday vehicle designed to transport riders from destination to destination. While a versatile sedan in its own right, one thing the Malibu is NOT intended for is off-roading. Unfortunately, two Death Valley visitors learned this truth the hard way, and wound up getting their Chevy sedan stuck after allegedly driving across a salt flat.
According to a report by CBS, two men got lost in Death Valley and walked for miles looking for help on July 4th, 2023. They allegedly got turned around after taking a wrong turn on a gravel road, and decided to cut straight across a salt flat after noticing they were low on gas. After roughly a mile, the Malibu got stuck in some mud.
Unable to call for help, the two men decided walk to a nearby road, and continue another 12 miles north. Then, during the early hours of the morning, the two split, with one walking six more miles until he was picked up by other visitors. After calling for help, rescuers were able to locate the other man, who was rushed to the hospital to be treated for heat illness.
“Driving off-road is illegal in Death Valley National Park,” a National Park Service representative was quoted as saying. “In this case, it could have cost their lives.”
The Malibu remained stuck for three weeks until a tow company was able to remove it on July 27th, 2023. Notably, the two visitors were issued a mandatory court appearance for illegal off-road driving and the resulting damage to the park.
“Death Valley is an awe-inspiring place that demands our utmost respect and preparedness,” Death Valley Superintendent Mike Reynolds was quoted as saying. “We urge visitors to exercise caution and adhere to park rules. Don’t drive off established roads; this damages the environment and can turn deadly.”