Authorities ID man who died on Anza Trail

This is the dirt road leading to the trail.

The county coroner’s office has released the identity of the man who died last week on the Old Stage Road portion of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Trail system.

The man who died on the trail was Bryan Dean Leonard, 36, of Salinas, according to Sgt. Tony Lamonica of the sheriff’s office. The office is waiting on a toxicology report to determine the official cause of death, he said.

Authorities responded to a report around 2 p.m. Jan. 17 of a man not breathing on the dirt pathway in the rural area of San Benito County near San Juan Bautista. An ambulance was delayed because a locked gate there blocks off all vehicle traffic, but eventually broke through barbed-wire portions of fencing alongside the trail entrance.

It is unclear immediately how long ambulance responders were delayed before gaining access and driving about a half-mile up the trail to the area where the victim was lying on the ground with at least three other people trying to assist him. The ambulance crew performed CPR before halting the efforts at about 2:45 p.m., while the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene.

The road is an official part of the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail system that runs from the Mexican border to San Francisco. The four-mile road segment was transformed to a Juan Bautista de Anza Trail portion in early 1999 by blocking off all vehicle traffic and making the road strictly a foot, horse or bike path.

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