National Park Issues Husband Citation After Wife Dies In BASE Jumping Accident
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CBS Las Vegas/AP) — The husband of a woman who died after BASE jumping in Zion National Park has been issued a citation because that type of jump is prohibited.
Park spokeswoman Aly Baltrus told The Salt Lake Tribune that Clayton Butler, 29, received a citation following the death of his wife, 28-year-old Amber Bellows, for violating the Code of Federal Regulations which bans parachuting from an aircraft in national parks.
Butler could face up to a $5,000 fine and six months in prison if convicted.
Bellows fell about 2,000 feet to the ground last Saturday when her parachute failed to open. She 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 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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