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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."

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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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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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barryaclarke February 10 2014 at 1:00 PM

I wonder if Clayton Butler will be held for contributing to his wife’s death because they were doing something that was against the law in state and/or national parks?

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2 replies
David..BRAAPP barryaclarke February 10 2014 at 1:05 PM

someone has to be held responsible for the actions of the irresponsible. That the new American way. No one is to blame for their own actions

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almasearch barryaclarke February 10 2014 at 1:11 PM

IMO, they could get HIM for breaking their rules and that's about it. Unless they could prove he "put a gun to her head" (i.e. threatened her in any way) to make her jump, I don't see how he could be held accountable for "contributing" to her death. Last I heard, this occurred in the USA, and even though they were married, he can't tell his wife what or what NOT to do. But I'm guessing they'll be investigating to be sure this guy isn't like that other lady who, not too long ago, pushed her newlywed husband off a cliff. Twenty-something... Way too young to die. RIP

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1 reply
hojoinvest almasearch February 10 2014 at 1:43 PM

RIP...Mmmmm. rip cord...Im sure there was no pun intended...

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spsportsmom4 February 10 2014 at 1:38 PM

Whether they were supposed to be there or not, it is still a tragedy, my condolences to the family.

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lukasiwicz spsportsmom4 February 10 2014 at 2:28 PM

Well, spsportsmom4, I guess the point is that if this couple had obeyed the law, the wife would likely still be alive, so it's a tragedy, unlike some, that didn't need to happen.

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1 reply
slackwarerobert lukasiwicz February 10 2014 at 4:32 PM

Or they would have been hit head on by a drunk driver on the way home after just viewing the sights.
This way ONE lived at least.

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rlmcanoe February 10 2014 at 1:44 PM

Condolences to family and friends, so young

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efabrom February 10 2014 at 2:22 PM

A thrill worth dying for....Nostradamus could see this one coming.

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lukasiwicz February 10 2014 at 2:24 PM

Too bad, but if you engage in high-risk activities, you're kinda tempting fate, and I guess this time fate rose to the bait. I kinda wonder who packed her chute.

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1 reply
ROD lukasiwicz February 10 2014 at 2:29 PM

Maybe that was there problem, she wouldn't let him pack her chute............

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1 reply
James ROD February 10 2014 at 3:24 PM

Where problem?

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archmantamu February 10 2014 at 2:26 PM

They should send her estate a bill for the search, removal and cleanup. She broke the law and paid a high price. Sorry, but she wouldn't be dead if she hadn't done it. I do feel bad for her family, not her husband, but knowingly doing something dangerous has a price, a very high one at times.

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wittlief archmantamu February 10 2014 at 3:05 PM

husband should be arrested
he jumped too.

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1 reply
telvis wittlief February 10 2014 at 3:19 PM

Don't think he's been punished enough with seeing his wife die and not being able to help her?

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precstimes February 10 2014 at 2:28 PM

This was an extremely selfish act, knowing it was illegal and knowing the danger, just for a quick high that will impact her loved ones forever. People do things for thrills whether legal or not because it's a me, me, me world we live in. No thought or regard for ones left behind.

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2 replies
James precstimes February 10 2014 at 3:23 PM

Speaking of impact...

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mmjones21 precstimes February 10 2014 at 3:27 PM

like the free diver that lost his life trying break deep dive record in the Bahamas recently what for??

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wittlief February 10 2014 at 3:03 PM

Cause of death:
jumped off cliff
incoming text message.....

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1 reply
slackwarerobert wittlief February 10 2014 at 4:11 PM

No, cause of death failure to slow down on impact at bottom.
Did she flap her arms like sylvester would do? Anything land on top like poor coyote gets?

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sailloco February 10 2014 at 3:10 PM

Wanna break the law. Be prepared to pay. Must be a reason why it's illegal.

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