Husband of woman killed BASE jumping in Zion cited

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  • UT Brit London, England
    Feb. 14, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    Lets hope when we stand at the judgement bar we dont have people surrounding us clamouring for the letter of the law to be followed.

    Reading these comments and knowing the faith of the majority of the people writing would be amusing if it wasnt so tragic.

  • dLange Los Gatos, CA
    Feb. 13, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    If following the law is so important, maybe the officer should have cited the wife, who base jumped, also. To me it would make as much sense as citing the grieving surviving husband.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Feb. 13, 2014 8:35 a.m.


    How many people do you think have done base jumps for years without incident? How many have base jumped illegally in zions national park and have been just fine? These were experienced base jumpers, they know what is safe and what isn't. Her chute didn't open, it is an accident.

    Regarding angel's landing - I was there 2 years ago. It does have a handrail, as you mentioned, but there are several areas that all you have to do is make 1 mistake or 1 slip and you are dead. The people who died weren't all goofing around as you claim.

    Just because you don't base jump doesn't mean nobody should be able to, that is odd reasoning.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:31 p.m.

    Someone dies and someone else makes the connection that the death occurred because a she broke the law. Does anyone understand that it happened because the chute didn't open?

    Quit with the moralizing about the law. Give these poor people some peace.

  • Archie1954 Vancouver, BC
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:17 p.m.

    Drunk driving and this citation simply do not correlate! This man has paid many times the price for his mistake and no court is ever going to beat his self imposed penalty.

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:29 p.m.

    now we know why base jumping is illegal.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 4:36 p.m.


    Angels Landing has a hand rail to hold on to. I climbed it last year and if you hold on to the rail there is little danger at all in the climb. You might get some fear of heights but that's it. Those who 'choose' to goof off up there are the ones who die. Base jumping is simply not safe no matter how you prepare. The fall distance is too short and combine that with unpredictable winds in a canyon you are asking for trouble. There simply isn't any safety to fall back on and and it is a foolish and dangerous activity just to get a 'rush'. It should be against the law in all National Parks.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 4:10 p.m.

    If you push the envelope of danger far enough eventually you will have something bad happen - probably fatal as this tragedy was. There is a line that you shouldn't cross in the out doors and I would include base jumping as across the line. When you do something just for the 'rush' you probably ought to rethink what you are doing because it will probably not end well. This couple had their whole life and family in front of them and decided to jump off a cliff and compromise that life. As sad as this is it is equally foolish. Rock climbing is dangerous but at least there are safeties to protect you. Base jumping is more dangerous than normal parachuting from an air plane just because of the dangerously short distance as well as unpredictable winds etc... I think base jumping ought to be against the law especially in National Parks. What a waste of life. There are tons on outdoor things to do that bring excitement but are relatively safe to do including skiing, hiking, back packing, rafting, biking, etc...

  • Rico Santaquin, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    No, the law was in place and it didn't work. We have to be able to choose. If I don't want to wear my seatbelt, then I am knowingly taking a risk. It's my choice.

    They knew the consequences. The law did not and will not change that. They knew full well that that was a risk and were willing to take it.

  • Eliot Genola, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 3:55 p.m.

    A citation was issued because the law was violated. Why is that hard to understand? BASE jumpers are not deterred by the fear of death or fine, in fact, many are motivated by them. Citations are not issued to deter someone else from BASE jumping. They are issued to punish the lawbreaker.

    Feb. 12, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    I think the citation was appropriate, albeit optional as well described by Twardy above. No special treatment is required based on unfortunate events, and the citation certainly sends the message that violators are subject to a penalty under any conditions.

    I also think it would be completely appropriate for a judge to determine that losing his wife was more than enough punishment to satisfy punitive requirements, and exacted a cruel and irreversible justice. To think the death of his newlywed wife was not enough punishment, not enough justice, and not enough deterrence is bitterly cold-hearted and cruel.

  • AZJazzFan Gold Canyon, az
    Feb. 12, 2014 3:48 p.m.

    After the death of his wife to fine him would be cruel and unusual punishment.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Feb. 12, 2014 3:39 p.m.


    The park has these rules to try and save lives? Funny. Angels landing hike has had several deaths over the years, yet it is still legal. But a few base jumpers can't base jump in the park? Get real. The parks only care about money, so they should just start charging base jumpers to do it, and I bet then they won't care how many die (just like angels landing)

    You can't just pick and choose what dangerous activities are allowed and what ones aren't. I believe several have died in the narrows, and rock climbing in the park as well. All legal activities.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Feb. 12, 2014 3:36 p.m.


    Your comparison doesn't even make sense. A drunk driver who killed somebody else is the drunk drivers fault. A base jumper who suffers the ultimate loss - their own life - cannot be punished. The husband didn't cause her to die, it was an accident. This is ridiculous.

  • dLange Los Gatos, CA
    Feb. 12, 2014 2:42 p.m.

    I don't understand the need for the citation. Is it as a deterrent? Wouldn't the death of his wife be a deterrent? and if not, then a citation will not be. Is it a punishment? Wouldn't the death of his wife be more than enough punishment? I do not understand the motivation or thinking behind giving the surviving husband a $5000 fine, or 6 months in jail. It seems absurd in the extreme.

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    I agree 100% that the citation had to be given. Will the Judge extend some mercy in the sentencing? I hope so.

    If you break the law - expect to pay the penalty. The penalty to this particular law was not the loss of life, that was an unfortunate occurrence and this young man will probably think twice before breaking the law again. It's just too sad that it takes something like this to wake people up to the consequences of their actions.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Feb. 12, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    DN Subscriber posted:
    If both husband and wife had OBEYED the law, both would be alive today.

    No, she'd still be dead. Regardless whether the place they jumped was illegal or not, her parachute failed to open. If they had obeyed the law, the failure would simply have happened somewhere else.

    I agree the citation is proper, in order to discourage others from jumping in the park, against the park owners wishes (perhaps to avoid expense of legal complications).

    If only we could hold Obama to the same.

  • dbrbmw Orem, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 12:51 p.m.

    CS Copper needs a little explaining to. If the wife hadn't died then there would still be a ticket issued, maybe two. It is a sad thing for sure that she died. What is more sad is this didn't have to happen. The public knowing tickets are issued might help deter future base jumping.

  • PhotoSponge nampa, ID
    Feb. 12, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    Not conflicted at all. The law was broken and the young women paid the ultimate price. It is correct that the man should have been fined; he broke the law as well. Extreme sports ALWAYS carry with them the possibility of death and these sports-junkies know that going into them. That's why the park has a restriction on them--to try and help to save lives. Very sorry for the loss of this young woman's life.

  • Something to think about Ogden, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    I believe it is correct to issue the citation. Law enforcement should not pick and choose based upon circumstances whether or not to enforce the law.

    It will now be up to the Judicial system to decide how "justice" is met in this violation of law. I believe that is where circumstances need to be taken into account.

  • Anti Government Alpine, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    So you break the law and it causes death and what?

    The law suddenly does not apply any more?

    Whether it deters future jumpers or not is irrelevant. The law is the law. You can't selectively pick and choose just because someone may be grieving.

    Hypothetical I rob a bank with my brother. He gets killed in the ensuing car chase/gun battle. I should not get a fine? I should not have to go to jail? I should not be held accountable?

    You people really need to get a grip. If you don't agree with the law get it changed.

    Selective enforcement based on emotional events is just plain adolescent thinking.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    I'm personally conflicted on this. On the one hand these two were fools for jumping off of a cliff, it is simply a stupid "sport" and no one with any sort of common sense would engage in it. There is also the fact that it impacts, and even endangers, other people.

    But on the otherhand I am tired of this mentality that we need to charge and prosecute everyone over every single thing they do. There is no leeway for actual justice anymore, it is all about getting everyone a permanent record for whatever their trangression might be.

    When I was a kid if a kid did something that was against the rules, the cops would usually just take you home and let your dad take care of you. Of course it was understood then that your dad actually would take care of you and my dad certainly did. But now days they've got to get you on record and prosecuted, make sure it follows you around for the rest of your life regardless of how minor the infraction may be.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    Citing the husband was correct IMO. He also base jumped. To ignore the act is to condone and send message that the park or authorities tacitily approve of BASE jumping or will not enforce the law, thereby allowing other extreme sports junkies to believe they can BASE jump with impunity.

    The death of the lady is tragic, sad and mournful. Had she been injured, would she have been charged for the cost of rescue and extrication from the site, or would the park eat the cost? What about others who disrupt, even endanger their lives to rescue/recover people who put themselves in harm's way for recreation?

    Had she been injured would she have sued the park for having an attractive nusance?

    Most days we are the pigeons to life's statues, some days we are the statue. Just sayin'.

  • Marty McFly Hilldale, CA
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    The notion that issuing a citation (after the fact) will deter future aspiring BASE jumpers is laughable.

    I'm pretty sure that if the risk of death doesn't deter jumpers, then the risk of receiving a citation won't do much either.

    Condolences to the family. What a tragedy.

  • Twardy Folsom, CA
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    There is a difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. All peace officers learn that during the academy. If you think he should be cited for this, do you also believe that every motorist who is pulled over should get a ticket? Pretty sure you would like a warning now and then.
    This is not about "enforcing the laws without prejudice" it's about the spirit of the law and humanity. Absolutely horrible choice to give him a citation.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    If both husband and wife had OBEYED the law, both would be alive today.

    If we allow violations of the law, any law, to go unpunished then the law is effectively worthless and toothless and such actions breed contempt for all laws.

    However, in the larger picture, we are becoming a nation where obedience to the law is no longer the expected norm, and disobedience is accepted. (Immigration and Obamacare changes leap to mind.)

    Enforce the laws, all of them, even on grieving husbands, and perhaps that will deter others from doing illegal things that have bad consequences. Or, accept anarchy and the bad consequences from lawlessness.

  • defibman Syracuse, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one under any circumstances, however they knew the law and did not stop to think about what could happen or why the law is the way it is. There is a reason why we have laws. I for one think that they should slap a heavy fine on him due to the fact that a law was broken and the result caused a death of a person. If that other person was a friend, would you think that it would change things? A death is a death is a death. We have laws and this law is a good one as was proven.

    To those who disagree with that, would it be okay to drink and drive and kill your child or spouse and not do anything? Come on people get a clue as to why we have laws!

  • TiCon2 Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    Most of these federal citations are nearly toothless, so I wouldn't worry too much about the guy having to pay the fine. From experience handling citations in national parks, it's likely to be about $500 or so.

    Thankfully we have officers who at least try to look at situations as Lady Justice would - blindfolded for objectivity.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    Trajic accident. I'm sorry for this young man's loss and that of her family.

    The unfortunate death of his spouse just pours vinegar into his wound of receiving a citation for illegal activity in a national park.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    Although both comments to give or not to give a citation are correct in principal, memories of the father in Utah County whose 2 year son slipped out of his truck while he looked for a place to hunt and died comes to mind. Grief filled the father's mind and heart but no one paid attention to what he was going through. The judge sentenced him to jail "which was the thing to do" and he went back to the place of his son's death and took his own life.

    Clayton has paid the ultimate price already with the death of his wife of only two weeks. Adding to it another penalty may or may not make sense but I am glad I don't have to make the decision. Charging seems to be the thing to do, but hopefully someone is paying attention to the mental condition of Clayton. Hopefully there will be no unintended consequences this time.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    Hmmm. Drunk driver crashes and kills someone. Some brainwashed officer decides to ticket him and rub it in a little more. Hasn't he already "paid the price"? Maybe he should just tell them to buzz off...

    (Still looking for a sarcasm font)

    Amen, procuradorfiscal...

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    I think they need to enforce this to let others know they can't do this. However, I think the judge will be very lenient and probably let him off easy. He's already paid a very high price for his irresponsible behavior.

  • billster36 Nies, MI
    Feb. 12, 2014 6:03 a.m.

    Look, here is a man who has suffered a great loss, his beloved wife has died and he was unable to save her. What shall we do? Shall we grieve with him? Or shall we add to his loss, shall we add insult to his grievous injury, and rub salt into a festering wound? I am saddened to see what we, through our law enforcement representatives, have chosen to do. And my friends, do not forget that WE, THE PEOPLE have chosen to allow these law officers to represent us. It is not some amorphous "thsm" that has done this disgraceful thing. It is we. THEY are simply OUR representatives.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 4:23 a.m.

    Re: "I hope they feel proud when they go home. What greater good did it serve issuing this man a ticket?"

    I also hope people enforcing the law take pride in what they do.

    But, if one even has to ask the question, what greater good is served by enforcing the law without fear or favor, there's really not much hope anyone will ever be able to explain it to him.


  • Tyler McArthur South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 2:56 a.m.

    Wow... way to add insult to injury. As if losing his wife wasn't enough, some judge felt like it was necessary to rub it in a little bit more. The consequences were already realized, why pile on the additional citation? How inhumane.

  • DanB Portland, OR
    Feb. 12, 2014 12:34 a.m.

    They were "experienced" base jumpers. They had to have known what they were doing was against the law.

    Unfortunately this husband will pay far more than any fine that can be levied against him and will be sentenced to a lifetime (not six months) of remembering his wife's brutal death.

    Let's hope the base jumping community learns something from this otherwise her death was in vain.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    Feb. 11, 2014 11:08 p.m.

    I knew Amber personally. This hits home for me. The loss her husband has is more than enough. This is just rubbing salt in the wound. I would just tell them to buzz off.

  • cscopper AMERICAN FORK, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:41 p.m.

    I love how the decency of mankind has been completely brainwashed out of the majority of the "peace" officers in the country.

    I hope they feel proud when they go home. What greater good did it serve issuing this man a ticket?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:02 p.m.

    As sad as this is, this is the right decision. Laws need to be upheld and if not, there are still consequences, even if tragedy occurred during crime.

    Feel horrible for him. And hopefully this is the last time someone goes BASE jumping there.