Park Service looking for driver who tore up Death Valley's fragile dry lake

Published 09/28 2016 02:39PM

Updated 09/28 2016 02:39PM

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Federal investigators have identified a driver suspected of taking an illegal joyride on a fragile, dry lake bed in Death Valley National Park, leaving 10 miles of swerving tire tracks.

Officials haven't released the suspect's name, but park spokeswoman Abby Wines told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that she's hopeful the person will be criminally charged.

Motor vehicles are banned from the site known as Playa Racetrack, where visitors can see how wind and ice push rocks that leave lengthy trails in the lake bed. Still, new tire tracks show up there every few years.

Wines says this case is the worst she's ever seen.

Officials say they may try to restore the protective crust on the lake bed but aren't sure how to go about it

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.