The man was last seen alive at a local gas station on July 3, one day before a 6.4-magnitude earthquake

By Char Adams
July 10, 2019 12:22 PM
The scene where a 56-year-old Nevada man was found dead this week, according to authorities.
Nye County Sheriff's Office

Nevada authorities believe a 56-year-old man may have been killed last week in a freak accident when a sizable earthquake struck the area, PEOPLE confirms.

Deputies with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office went to the man’s Pahrump home on Tuesday after he was missing for six days and found his body stuck beneath his Jeep, the sheriff’s office said.

“The vehicle that the male was pinned under had been jacked up safely and based on the positioning of the body and the tools found at the scene, the male appeared to be working on the vehicle at the time of his death,” Sgt. Adam Tippetts said in a video statement.

The man, who has not been identified, was last seen alive at a local gas station on July 3. Deputies were responding to a report of a man beneath a vehicle when they found his body.

“Based on preliminary timing and circumstances at the scene, the Nye County Sheriff’s investigation reveals that this death may be the result of the vehicle falling off the jacks on July 4th during the earthquake,” Tippetts said.

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck around 10:30 a.m. on the Fourth of July near Ridgecrest, California, with its impact felt about 180 miles away in Pahrump. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake then struck near Ridgecrest on Friday and was also felt in the Nevada town.

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Vehicles park next to a crack in the road after an earthquake, near Ridgecrest, California
ETIENNE LAURENT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Photos of the scene showed the man’s Jeep leaned to its right with a makeshift jack appearing to have fallen down.

The July 4 earthquake was the largest felt in the area in at least 20 years but was quickly topped by Friday’s quake, according to ABC News. Local authorities reported multiple fires, damage to buildings, roads and gas lines, TIME reported.

However, no fatalities or major injuries were reported at the time, according to the Associated Press.

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

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