Utah newlywed killed in Zion BASE jump is identified
Outdoors • She was an experienced jumper, but her chute did not open, park service says.
Published: February 10, 2014 10:27AM
Updated: February 10, 2014 11:58AM
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Amber Bellows in a YouTube video of a BASE jump from Buttermilk Tower.

Amber Marie Bellows had been married all of two weeks when she died BASE jumping with her new husband in Zion National Park.

The National Park Service retrieved her body Sunday. Bellows, 28, was an experienced BASE jumper from Salt Lake City who was visiting the park with her husband, Clayton Butler, said park spokeswoman Aly Baltrus.

Bellows and Butler, 29, hiked up Mt. Kinesava Saturday morning to jump — which is not allowed in the park — and Bellows went first. But Bellows’ parachute did not open properly and she fell about 2,000 feet to her death, according to a National Park Service news release.

Butler jumped after her, but could not reach her, the release adds. It took Butler about four hours to reach a point where he could call for help.

To avoid unnecessary risk, the park service waited until daylight Sunday to retrieve Bellows’ body using a helicopter, according to the release. They reached the site just before 10 a.m., where two rangers hoisted Bellows’ body a short distance to an awaiting ambulance, according to the release.

This marks the park’s first BASE jumping death, Baltrus said.

“It is just really sad and our condolences go out to her family and friends,” said park superintendent Jim Milestone 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.”

The accident is under investigation.

The video above, uploaded to YouTube in December, shows Bellows and Butler jumping from a tower.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mikeypanda

The video above, uploaded to YouTube in December, shows Bellows and Butler jumping from a tower.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mikeypanda