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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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Junior February 10 2014 at 11:20 AM

I just do not get the attraction to these dangerous hobbies. Everything in life is risk vs reward but I just do not see it. The risk is just too high.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
wlh1923 February 10 2014 at 2:04 PM

In case anyone is perhaps wondering why base jumping is banned in Zion.....?

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
greg wlh1923 February 10 2014 at 2:08 PM

Man Small, Why Fall, Skies Call Thats all.....................Most of you just would not understand. Condolences and
"tear' cya

Flag Reply 0 rate up
efabrom February 10 2014 at 2:22 PM

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

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
ROD lukasiwicz February 10 2014 at 2:29 PM

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

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
James ROD February 10 2014 at 3:24 PM

Where problem?

Flag 0 rate up
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.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
1 reply
wittlief archmantamu February 10 2014 at 3:05 PM

husband should be arrested
he jumped too.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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?

Flag 0 rate up
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.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
2 replies
James precstimes February 10 2014 at 3:23 PM

Speaking of impact...

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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??

Flag Reply 0 rate up
wittlief February 10 2014 at 3:03 PM

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

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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
sailloco February 10 2014 at 3:10 PM

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

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Missy February 10 2014 at 3:24 PM

Illegal and dumb.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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