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Base Jumper Dies at Zion

February 12
16:11 2014

amberbellows_smallAnother base jumper has died, this time at Zion. At approximately 4:00 pm, Saturday, February 8, 2014, 28-year-old Amber Bellows died from a failed BASE jumping attempt in Zion National Park. Park officials report she was with her husband of just two weeks, Clayton Butler, 29-years-old. Both were from Salt Lake City, Utah and were experienced BASE jumpers.

Butler stated that his wife’s parachute failed to open properly and she fell approximately 2000 feet. Butler jumped after her, but was unable to reach her. He hiked out to get help and notified the park at approximately 6:30 pm.

Zion National Park reached out to Grand Canyon National Park for helicopter support. Since it was a recovery and not a rescue, the teams decided to wait until daylight in order to reduce unnecessary risk. The area that Bellows fell in is fairly remote and in difficult terrain. Her exact location was also unknown. Bellows body was located around 10:00 am. on Sunday, February 9 and planning efforts for the recovery efforts were initiated. The accident is currently under investigation.

“It is just really sad and our condolences go out to her family and friends. BASE jumping is so dangerous. Even for those that are experienced, like Amber Bellows. That is one of the reasons it is not allowed in the park.”  Jim Milestone – Acting Superintendent

BASE jumping is illegal within Zion National Park. This was the first fatality in Zion this year and the first ever fatality of a BASE jumper in Zion National Park.

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