photo of RJ Avina, Death Valley Park staff at Furnace Creek visitor's center.

Death Valley Park employee died in off-duty vehicle crash

Rigoberto “RJ” Avina died in a vehicle crash in Death Valley National Park on May 26. Avina had worked for the National Park Service for nearly 3 years but was not on duty at the time of the accident.

“RJ’s passing leaves a hole in our community’s heart,” said Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “He was a smart young man with a bright future. I will miss his smile and grieve for his family’s loss.”

Avina, 28, of Pahrump, NV, had worked in Death Valley National Park’s maintenance division since September 2021. He was survived by his wife and two young sons. 

Avina died in a single-vehicle accident on CA-190. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of fatalities in Death Valley National Park.

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