Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

Husband of woman killed BASE jumping in Zion cited

By McKenzie Romero, Deseret News

Published: Tue, Feb. 11 8:50 p.m. MST

 The husband of a woman who died BASE jumping in Zion National Park over the weekend has been cited for the jump.

The husband of a woman who died BASE jumping in Zion National Park over the weekend has been cited for the jump.

(Keith Johnson)

ZION NATIONAL PARK — The husband of a woman who died BASE jumping in Zion National Park over the weekend has been cited for the jump.

Clayton Butler, 29, was cited Tuesday for jumping from a natural feature, a misdemeanor that can carry fines of up to $5,000 or six months in jail, park spokeswoman Aly Baltrus confirmed. Butler has been ordered to appear in U.S. Magistrate Court in St. George.

Butler was BASE jumping Saturday with his wife of two weeks, 28-year-old Amber Marie Bellows, when her parachute failed to open during an estimated 2,000-foot jump off Mount Kinesava. Butler jumped after his wife but was unable to reach her.

Butler hiked alone out of the park for help, and his wife's body was retrieved the next day.

The newlywed couple were experienced BASE jumpers.

BASE jumping is not allowed in Zion National Park. The accident was the first fatality in Zion this year and the first ever BASE jumping incident in the park, Baltrus said on Sunday.

— McKenzie Romero

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1. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
Feb. 11, 2014

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.

2. cscopper
AMERICAN FORK, UT,
Feb. 11, 2014

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?

3. Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00,
Feb. 11, 2014

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.

4. DanB
Portland, OR,
Feb. 12, 2014

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.

5. Tyler McArthur
South Jordan, UT,
Feb. 12, 2014

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.