Tragedy struck a recently married couple when the new bride fell to her death after her parachute didn’t open while base-jumping in Zion National Park in Utah on Feb. 1.
Amber Marie Bellows, 28, an experienced member of both the base jumping and skydiving communities in Utah, dove off Mount Kinesava in the national park last Saturday, Feb. 1, at around 4 p.m., and plunged some 2,000 feet to her death when her parachute failed to open. Her husband, Clayton Butler, jumped with her and watched her fall.
Amber Marie Bellows: Base-Jumper Falls To Death
Mount Kinesava is a plateau, approximately, 3,000 feet from top to bottom, with a 1,000-foot sheer cliff on its east-facing side.
A spokeswoman for Zion National Park stated that this is the park’s first base jumping related death.
“It is just really sad and our condolences go out to her family and friends,” said park superintendent Jim Milestone in a statement released after the incident. “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,” added Milestone.
Amber Marie Bellows’ Husband Jumped With Her
Bellows’ husband of just two weeks, Clayton Butler, 29, leapt off the mountainside just after his late wife but could not help her. Unfortunately, by the time Butler was able to notify authorities of his wife’s tragic accident it was already too late for park service officials to perform an extraction.
Butler was forced to wait until Sunday morning before his wife’s body could be airlifted by helicopter out of the park. Her body was flown out around 10 a.m. from where she fell and was placed in an awaiting ambulance after the helicopter had landed.
Bellows’ death has hit both the skydiving and base-jumping communities hard as she was linked to skydiving groups such as Skydive Utah in Erda, and Skydive Ogden. Representatives from both groups said they were too upset to release any official statements.
Our thoughts go out to Amber’s friends and family, and especially to Clayton, during this difficult time.