A man who was stranded in the desert for hours before being airlifted to a hospital in southern California has been declared dead.
Richard Allen said he was in his car with his wife and three children when he was pulled from the Mojave Desert and taken to the hospital Saturday night.
“We drove from the house, and we drove down the road for about 10 minutes, and the first thing we saw was the ground was covered in sand,” Allen said.
He was taken to a local hospital in the city of Loma Linda.
Allen was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead Saturday afternoon.
Doctors initially determined he died from “multiple fractures and contusions” but said he suffered from hypothermia and dehydration.
He was taken into custody Saturday night and later charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Allen’s wife, Lisa, said she is relieved he is alive.
“It’s a miracle that he is in the hospital, because we have a very long road ahead,” she said.
“He’s very, very lucky.”
Loma Linda Police Chief Robert LaBorde said he hopes Allen’s death does not impact the investigation into the plane crash that killed 14 people and injured nearly 180 more.
“I’m just grateful that it wasn’t a direct result of the plane,” LaBordesaid.
“There’s so much more to do.”
Allen was on a road trip with his family to Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.
He planned to visit his grandmother in the Los Angeles area, but he never made it there.
The plane went down about 1:40 p.m.
Saturday in a desert canyon about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Loma Lenca, where Allen was staying with his children, Allen said on Facebook.