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Two ATV enthusiasts found dead after crash in Mojave Desert

December 23, 2011 |  8:12 am

Mojave ATV deaths
The bodies of two off-road vehicle enthusiasts from Santa Barbara were found in the Mojave Desert after their ATV plunged off a cliff, officials said Friday.

The bodies of the two men, Chris Rice and Daniel Carbonaro, were found Thursday after a five-day search.

The men had left their motel in Randsburg at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday on a 2011 Polaris Razor all-terrain vehicle and were en route to the Cuddeback Dry Lake Bed area in San Bernardino County, according to Kern County sheriff's officials. 

A multi-agency search operation was launched after the men were reported missing later Sunday morning, combing 11,000 square miles of terrain. Shortly after noon Thursday, the search team found tire tracks that led to the site of the crash. 

According to a statement posted on the Friends of the Chris Rice and Dan Carbonaro search Facebook page, the ATV had plunged over a 500-foot cliff and the two men died on impact.

"Daniel Carbonaro and Christopher Rice will forever be remembered as wonderful individuals who touched everyone who crossed their paths," the statement said.

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-- Abby Sewell

Photo: Chris Rice and Dan Carbonaro. Credit: KTLA-TV.

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