GBHS students go off-roading


 As of the past few months, a group of Granite Bay High School  boys have instigated a hobby of off-roading at Folsom Lake.

 “People go off roading as something fun to do,” said GBHS junior Spencer Cusack, who has participated in the off-roading at Folsom Lake. “Whenever people aren’t sure what to do or are bored, (it’s) always something fun and different.”

 “Off-roading” is referred to as the activity of driving vehicles over rough terrain such as mud, sand, rocks or even snow for sport.

 Exercising this dangerous activity stretches beyond risk-taking millennials and is actually a widespread pastime various people participate in.

 According to Wrangler brand manager Kevin Metz, 15 percent of all people in the United States who own SUVs go off roading recreationally.

MORE: Offroading Stats

 “The appeal of off roading is the feeling that you’re on a roller coaster without ever leaving your car,” said Whitney High School junior Noah Otto. “It’s bumpy, crazy and satisfying.

  Although off-roading may be considered an adrenaline-filled avocation, the consequential risks that come with it can be immense and forgotten by many.

MORE: Off Road Vehicle Accidents

 On October 29th, 2016 five high school students were involved in an accident at Folsom Lake due to off-roading.

“My front tire popped and we got stuck in a rut,” said the driver, Chase Mannsfeld, who is a GBHS junior. “The car had enough momentum (to do a) half roll once we hit the rut, and the car flipped, and we landed upside down.”

After the car had flipped, passenger Noah Otto attempted to unbuckle upside down which resulted in him landing on his side on the windshield.  That then allowed him to unlock the doors and get out of the car.  

 “As we got out, we looked for our stuff,” Otto said. “One of the girls had been complaining the whole ride and her phone ended up flying out the window (during the flip) and the car ended up landing on it which was funny.”

 Thankfully, neither Mannsfeld nor any of the passengers were significantly injured.

 “I don’t remember much about the flip, I just remember being on my side and then being upside down,” Mannsfeld said.  “I remember realizing that my car was crushed and I could’ve injured all the people in the car with me.”

  Following the accident, a group of Mannsfeld’s friends who also happened to be off-roading the same day drove by the scene and attempted to help flip the car upright.

 Mannsfeld’s destroyed car was eventually driven out of the lake on two flats with the help of tow truck workers.

 The axles of the car broke in the process of driving the car out of the lake post-excavation.

  “In the future I won’t off road as much or for as long,” Mannsfeld said. “If I do go off-roading again I’ll know my car’s limits.”

 Other student off-roaders share Mannsfeld’s outlook of taking an initiative to be more careful in the future, yet none claim that the accidents have impacted them enough to stop off-roading.

 “I don’t have a different outlook on off-roading (after the accidents occurred) because the people that are getting in the crashes are usually trying to show off and don’t have much experience,” said GBHS junior Zachary Dillon who participates in the activity.

 While off-roading, Dillon witnessed Mannsfeld’s crash in addition to a minor head-on collision between two of his friends.

 The collision that Dillon witnessed while off-roading resulted in Cusack’s car’s front bumper being torn off.

 “There have been a few accidents but not many,” Cusack said. “Chase flipped his car and the only other accident was me and my friend hitting head on but going slowly. My outlook after the accidents is to be more careful but still do what is fun to me.”