Husband Cited for BASE Jumping After Wife’s Death

Officials are citing the husband of a Utah woman who died when her parachute failed to open at a peak overlooking Zion National Park.

Park spokeswoman Aly Baltrus said 29-year-old Clayton Butler was cited Tuesday for jumping from a natural feature. Baltrus says the misdemeanor carries a fine of up to $5,000 and six months in jail.

Butler and his 28-year-old wife, Amber Bellows, had hiked to the top of Mount Kinesava on Saturday. Authorities say Bellows jumped first about 4 p.m. but fell about 2,000 feet to her death when her parachute failed.

Butler jumped next but couldn’t reach his wife’s body. It was recovered the next day.

BASE jumping is banned in the park. BASE jumping is a sport in which people parachute from buildings, bridges and other features.

source:  Article by ABC News February 13. 2014

The couple were married in Salt Lake City two weeks before Bellows’ death.

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5 Comments for “Husband Cited for BASE Jumping After Wife’s Death”

  1. Moo (GA)

    Why all of the newlywed :murders” lately? Not that ‘ol Clayton did anything to fail the parachute but it definitely doesn’t pass the stink test. Let me guess, there was a recent life insurance policy purchased with double indemnity in case of an accidental death. Hmmmmm………….

  2. ღSalღ

    I always thought it was protocol for one to pack one’s own parachute? For safety reasons, then there is no one else to blame but the person who packed it if it did fail.

    I do not know what kind of parachute a person uses for BASE jumping. Is it a sail kind?

    Sad ending to what should have been the beginning of marital bliss.

  3. Julie

    Moo – i read in the comments section at the article that insurance policies won’t pay if death is due to an illegal act, and BASE jumping at Zion National Park is banned – illegal.

    Hope you’re not getting too bad of weather by you.

  4. Moo (GA)

    Good point, Julie. Health insurance policies are starting to wise up and do the same thing…..someone here was killed while (s)he was driving DUI and their policy had a provision denying coverage if injured during the commission of a crime.

    So all of the thugs that get hurt during the commission of a crime (from drive-bys to robberies), the private insurance no longer covers the medical expenses so then it falls on the hospitals (which is typically us, the taxpayers, via a trauma unit.) Go figure…..

  5. Julie

    yeah, lucky us. i bet somehow the taxpayers got stuck paying for swampee’s chipped tooth. :(

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