Utah Woman Killed In Failed BASE Jump At Zion National Park

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A Utah woman was killed when she jumped from Mount Kinesava but her parachute failed to properly open. NPS photo.

A 28-year-old Utah woman fell an estimated 2,000 feet to her death when her parachute failed to open properly after she jumped off Mount Kinesava at Zion National Park.

Park officials say Amber Bellows died Saturday afternoon. She was with her husband of two weeks, Clayton Butler, 29, they added. Both were from Salt Lake City and were reported to be experienced BASE jumpers.

According to Mr. Butler, the couple hiked up Mount Kinesava on Saturday and his wife was the first to jump. He said that her parachute did not open properly, park officials reported Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Butler jumped after her, but was unable to reach her. He hiked out to get help and notified the park at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Zion National Park officials 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 Sunday to reduce unnecessary risk. The area that Ms. Bellows fell in is fairly remote and in difficult terrain. Her exact location was also unknown.

The woman's body was located around 10 a.m. Sunday and recovered soon after that via a short-haul operation.

The accident is currently under investigation. 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 the national park.