Local Arborist Dies in Trailer After Camping in Imperial County

Sal Hernandez died Sunday from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning along with co-worker Brett Beattie.

Sal Hernandez, owner of Sal Hernandez Tree Service in Ramona, died from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning Feb. 17 while camping in Imperial County with a co-worker, Imperial County Sheriff's Deputy Steven Green told Patch.

According to Green, Hernandez, 43, was camping in a car hauler trailer, or "box" trailer, in the Gordon's Well are near the Sand Dunes with co-worker Brett Beattie, 26, also of Ramona. The deputy told Patch that the two brought a charcoal grill into the trailer Saturday night (Feb. 16) and were found by friends they were camping with the next morning.

"We're still waiting on toxicology reports," Green said, "but it appears to be possible carbon monoxide poisoning."

Green said the trailer isn't meant for camping in and that the toxicology reports should take about 60 days to come back.

Hernandez, a certified arborist, owned Sal Hernandez Tree Service in Ramona.

Beattie was the son of former CHP officer Dean Beattie, who was fatally injured in 2003 on his motorcycle in an accident on state Route 163 near Genesee Avenue.

The Ramona Sentinel reported that a memorial service is planned for Hernandez at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, with burial following at Nuevo Memory Gardens.

No information is available yet on arrangements for Beattie.

Barbara Teixeira February 20, 2013 at 08:53 PM
I am so sad..Sal was an upstanding, professional, kind businessman who always went out of his way to provide excellent service and took the time to get to know his customers on a personal level. My heart goes out to his sons and family, as I am sure they will miss this wonderful man, as I know I will. We have lost a great community member. I also send condolences to his co-worker's family.
Melanie February 20, 2013 at 09:40 PM
I only had the pleasure of knowing Sal for just over a year. He was a great man and you could tell he loved his family. My heart goes out to his family and friends we have lost a great one. My heart also goes out to the family of the family of Brett Beattie.
R. Davis February 21, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Sal was such a great man. He will be sorely missed. He was honest, hardworking, cared about his employees and made sure the customer was happy and got what they paid for. My family is so saddened by this news.
Past Tree Service Customer February 21, 2013 at 02:52 AM
Sal is any mans best friend. My whole family was terrified of this news. He was such a hero to everyone.Our memory of him shall forever live on .
Joey February 21, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Sal was the kindest man with a big heart. God be with his and Brett's families during this difficult time. You will be missed. Heaven has two new angels.
Zachary February 21, 2013 at 04:58 AM
Sal was someone you could say with confidence was full of life. He had a magnetic personality and I feel truly blessed to have met him. Sadly, he will be greatly missed but I am comforted knowing that he is in a better place now. I'd only just met Brett, but he seemed a very respectable man. And the fact that Sal was a close friend of his means he was also a man of great value and integrity. My sincere condolences go out to the family of both these men taken way too soon.
Beth February 21, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Heartbreaking to hear this... Sal was a good guy and honest business man. Thoughts and prayers for his loved ones.
Kris Blaszcak February 21, 2013 at 04:04 PM
This is so sad; Sal was a great guy and will be missed.
Catherine Meagher February 21, 2013 at 08:52 PM
What sad, sad news. Sal did a lot of work for us when we first moved to Ramona in the late 90's. He was an honest and hard worker - always with that big friendly smile! He will be missed by everyone who knew him I am sure. What a tragic accident!
Roni February 21, 2013 at 09:18 PM
This was a shock, when my Husband called me with the news. No not Sal. He took such good care of himself, was safety conscience at all times, and for him to go like this is still a shock. We've known Sal for many many years. He did alot for this Community, as he was so caring, and giving and one of those guys you were very proud to know. He always spoke so highly of his family. Sal would deliver a good cord or so of firewood to us...I would always say, "I owe you a 6-pack Sal" He would say "Yeah, a 6-pack of RED BULL"....Sal, RIP my friend. To the Beattie Family and Friends our Deepest Condolences,
Jenny Blair February 22, 2013 at 04:09 AM
So sad :( Brett sat 2 seats behind me in 10th grade biology class at RHS. He was really nice.


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