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Utah woman dies in parachute accident near Zion

Newlywed Watches As Wife Base Jumps To Her Death


A Utah woman attempting a parachute jump near Zion National Park died when her parachute failed to open, park officials said.

Amber Bellows fell about 2,000 feet to the ground Saturday afternoon. The 28-year-old had been attempting the jump from Mount Kinesava, in the southern part of the park famous for its soaring red rock formations.

Bellows hiked to the top of the mountain Saturday morning with her husband, 29-year-old Clayton Butler. The Salt Lake City couple had married just two weeks before.

Bellows jumped first, around 4 p.m., but her parachute did not open. Her husband jumped after her but could not reach her body. It took him two hours to hike down the mountain and notify park officials.

Officials began a helicopter search on Sunday morning and found Bellows' body by 10 a.m.

Park officials said Bellows had been an experienced BASE jumper. BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Span, Earth - the different platforms used by jumpers.

BASE jumping is banned in Zion, and this is the first time a jumper has died.

"It is just really sad and our condolences go out to her family and friends," Acting Superintendent Jim Milestone said in a statement. "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."

Join the discussion

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jrb359 February 10 2014 at 10:11 AM

I live close to a small airport that has people that do this for fun. Every now and then you will hear about someones shoot not working properly resulting in another death. I very risky sport!

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1 reply
Mark jrb359 February 10 2014 at 10:20 AM

chute

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1 reply
jrb359 Mark February 10 2014 at 10:31 AM

You are right. Thanks.

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Whitetiger February 10 2014 at 9:53 AM

Such a tragic accident, but you have to look at it from the other side. BASE jumping was banned in the Zion park for a reason, and this incident proves why!!!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
WintersWar February 10 2014 at 10:12 AM

jumping off a mountain. m'kay.

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jason.ly1 February 10 2014 at 10:27 AM

Very sad

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mingthemercilessone February 10 2014 at 10:44 AM

Jumpers have to pack their own 'chutes. So, unless her hubby tampered with it (a possibility), then she's responsible for her own death. She chose to jump in an area where it was forbidden. TWO stupid decisions ended in fatality.

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onemadashell February 10 2014 at 10:42 AM

"BASE jumping is banned in Zion" so did they arrest her husband? is he being being charged with anything at all?

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kayciaccio February 10 2014 at 9:46 AM

That is so sad. My sympathies go out to Amber's husband and her family and friends.

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Robert Leonetti February 10 2014 at 8:07 AM

LIFE IS TOUGH ENOUGH TO SURVIVE WITHOUT PURPOSELY TAKING STUPID AND UNECCESSARY CHANCES LIKE THIS. WHY DO THESE FOLKS DO IT??????

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5 replies
Big Daddy February 10 2014 at 8:00 AM

He will be a suspect.....

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1 reply
patrickliveshere Big Daddy February 10 2014 at 8:29 AM

Of course he will. He's a MAN! Sad but truth.

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joseph0958 February 10 2014 at 9:25 AM

Happy wife, happy life...jus sayin...

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2 replies
dave1marine joseph0958 February 10 2014 at 9:39 AM

Yet ANOTHER person who completes a post, or anything that comesout of their mouth, with "just sayin".
As if no matter how callous, ignorant, or stupid the post may be, "just sayin" is supposed to exonerate, or seperate the person from the content. It DOSEN'T Joseph.

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1 reply
kgc073 dave1marine February 10 2014 at 9:58 AM

"just sayin", "just sayin" lol

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sjcartersix joseph0958 February 10 2014 at 10:44 AM

No wife, happy life...just sayin...

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