Sal Hernandez, Brett Beattie die during camping trip

Services for Sal Hernandez, owner of S & H Tree Service, set for Feb. 26

Two Ramona men were found dead on Sunday, Feb. 17, in a trailer in the Southeast Sand Dunes area, according to the Imperial County Sheriff’s office Coroner Division.

Sal Hernandez, certified arborist who died while camping over Presidents Day Weekend, is pictured volunteering his services at Ramona High School before the start of the 2011-12 school year. Sentinel file photo

Sal Hernandez, 43, and Brett Beattie, 26, were camping in a “box” trailer that is typically used to haul off-road vehicles in the Gordon’s Well/Buttercup area, said Sgt. Thomas Garcia with the coroner’s office.

Garcia said the Ramona men brought a grill with lit charcoal into the trailer the night of Feb. 16 to stay warm. Their bodies were discovered the next morning by other people they were camping with, said Garcia.

The Imperial County Coroner’s office has performed autopsies and is waiting for the toxicology reports, he said.

Hernandez, a certified arborist, owned S & H Tree Service in Ramona.

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, according to Bonham Brothers and Stewart Mortuary.

No information was available about services for Beattie when the Sentinel went to press on Tuesday.

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Feb 19 2013. Filed under Backcountry, Featured Story, News, Ramona. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

27 Comments for “Sal Hernandez, Brett Beattie die during camping trip”

  1. Guest

    RIP Sal & Brett!

  2. J. Wells

    What a tragedy. Sal will be sorely missed.

  3. Helen Cawyer

    I am so shocked and so sorry that this happened. Sal Hernandez was a friend and co-worker and also did some tree cutting jobs for me. I thought he was a wonderful person. My sympathies to his family.

  4. Brenda Jarrett

    I am so sorry that this happened. Sal was a very nice person and I he enjoyed life. Our prayers and thoughts are with your families.

  5. Colleen

    So very Sad!!! Sal is my tree guy, genuine, nice, honest just a Stellar guy! RIP Sal and Brett You will truly be missed!!! My sincere condolences to their families.

  6. Lisa Lang

    Sal's loss will be felt by so many people who have had the fortune of knowing this vivacious and generous man. I've had the privilege of knowing Sal both as one of his clients and as one of his close neighbors. Sal has been one of the most gregarious people I have ever known. His boundless energy and open heart have doubtless blessed all who have had the pleasure of knowing him. Our prayers go out to his family, friends and co-workers. I hope that we honor Sal by treating others the way that we know Sal would have.

  7. Roni and Ernie Filla

    Sal you will be missed. Our Prayers go out to your Family. Condolences to the Brett Beattie Family and Friends as well, a life gone, much to soon for both of these men.
    We have known Sal for many many years, yes Sal you will be sorely missed. Here's a REDBULL for you my Friend.

  8. michelle alcantar

    There will be a viewing at the hernandez residence monday afternoon starting at 6pm

    2014 montecito rd ramona ca 92065

  9. Angeles Gomez

    El lunes 26 de febrero, estara el cuerpo prersente de Sal,a partir de las 6 de la tarde en su casa y ahi sera velado toda la noche para quien guste asistir a acompanar a el y a su familia, y posteriormente el martes 27 seran sus servicios funebres en la iglesia de Santa Maria, aqui en Ramona cal, el domicilio de su casa es 2014 montecito Rd Ramona Calif 92065.

  10. A Gomez

    El cuepo de Salvador sera velado en su casa el lunes 25 de febrero desde las 6 de la tarde para posteriormente el martes 26 ser llevado a la iglesia de santa maria para su celebracion de su misa a las 10 de la manana, quien guste acompanar a su familia son bienvenidos el domicilio es 2014 montecito Rd Ramona California 92065.

  11. Jessica

    My family and I are heartbroken. Sal was one of a kind – full of love for life and for friends and family. I will miss his smile, positive attitude and overall friendliness.
    RIP Sal- you will be missed….

  12. Oscar C

    I met Salvador a couple months ago he was teaching me how to climb trees just about every sunday. He loved what he did, he had a big heart. He was an honest guy one of a kind. I also had the chance to meet Brett one morning you could tell he was very loyal and kind hearted. Still can not believe this is true. I will miss my great teacher very much he taught me alot these past months, not only about trees. My heart goes out to Brett and Salvadors Family and Crew. May they Rest in Peace

  13. Dear Friend

    Erik Hernandez,

    I’m so sorry for your loss.


  14. R. Davis

    This is so upsetting. My mom and I liked Sal so much. He made us feel special. His crew always did a great job and he made sure we were happy with the work. What a great loss to our community. I just can't believe it.

  15. Miguel Sotelo

    You will always be in my heart. I believe someday I will see you again in the new Paradise. remembering all the good time we had and talk shit to each other but With lots of love at the Tree climbing competition. I remember the last time you were in Sacramento we had such a good time together.

  16. Laura Hatfield

    My husband Troy & I are desert friends of Sal. I was fortunate enough to be on that trip and enjoy his good words, wonderful tacos, and time around the campfire. Brett was a polite & helpful young man enjoying his first trip out in the sand.
    So kind & generous and taken way too soon. win the competition in Heaven Sal!!
    RIP…. Laura

  17. Noe Cardenas

    If you ever meet Sal Hernandez then you will shirley never forget him. Sal truly had the biggest heart and literally gave you the shirt off his back. A hard working, professional, honest, passionate, selfless man who lived by his word and was respected and loved by all. I love you brother Sal.

    Noe Cardenas

  18. Sharon B.

    Sal …… I am soooooo sad that you have left us, that we will never see your smile again, or hear your jokes, or feel the warmth of your friendship, nor experience your true generosity. We have lost a GREAT man; prayers go to your family for their hearts must be broken !

  19. Roberto Montes

    My heart hurts. I lost i friend and a brother. I knew him from the beginning of his tree adventures and happily seen him climb the latter of success,we spend many moments together at work. raising our children and having fun with our families.pinatas,carne asadas and hard work. we shared everything just like brothers. he was the pride of his friends. I will miss him forever. te boy a extranar chavita, que dios te guarde en su santa memoria y desde aqui te te recordamos con gran entusiasmo por siempre y jamas te olvidaremos. dios esta contigo brother y con tu amigo brett.

  20. Roberto Montes

    MIS mas sinceras condolencias para la famila de Salvador. como duele decirle a dios a un outstanding friend que se va sin decirnos adios. Animo amigos.

  21. Dianne

    I am so sad, we knew Chava through Roberto Montes and he did work for us. A truly nice and wonderful young man. My prayers for all of his family and friends. May God give you strength for the days ahead.

  22. Rosie Hernandez

    Salvador, primo, our hearts ache as we sorely miss you. We truly admire all your life accomplishments – you inspire us all to be generous and kind-hearted. Last time I saw you at a family celebration in Santa Ana you made me cry with your emotional and kind words to your mother…Sal you were a great son, cousin, friend, and like a brother to my only brother, Martin Hernandez. Dios te tenga en su Santa Gloria, primo Salvador.

  23. Matt Gray-Trask

    Sal you will be greatly missed, I got to know you in the tree community. Surely God needed a good climber up there in heaven. My thoughts and prayers go to you and your family.

  24. Alvaro Vian

    Sal, was a good friend of mine. He was teaching me many things of climbing techniques. He was a really patient with his new friends and students. He gave me a brand new climbing gear and shirt that i will keep forever. Rest in peace, you will be in my heart, our best condolences to your family. I will see you in heaven to still climb trees, teacher.

  25. Andrew Rivera

    Sal saved my Siamese cat after 3 days up in a eucalyptus tree. The guy was simply magnetic. Rarely do you meet people that just ooze honesty and integrity, this is a big blow to the community. You are dearly missed Sal. Brett too. im sure if you were hanging with Sal that you were a great person yourself.

    Prayers to both families.

  26. Peggy

    I just found out that Sal passed away after leaving a message on his answering machine. I am in shock. He was so sweet, so dedicated to his profession, honest, and I loved the way he loved trees. I'm sure his family knows how wonderful their husband, father was but he really was a wonderful, wonderful person.

  27. Debbie Duncan

    I just got the call about Sal from my brother. I am truly devastated. It was heart warming to read all of the wonderful things that everyone wrote about him. I am in such shock right now, I feel that the world lost a wonderful man. It's truly a loss in many, many ways. We talked a lot about his youngest son, if he reads this, Sal loved you so very much. He believed in tough love but he wanted you to become a better man, the best man possible with good ethics instilled in you. He loved you so very much. I am so sorry for your families loss. I share your grief, and pray for you.

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