Citation against man who lost wife in BASE jumping accident dropped

Mount Kinesava at sunset, taken from Grafton, Utah, March 25, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY – Charges against a man who lost his wife in a fatal BASE jumping accident in Zion National Park were dropped by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Wednesday.

Clayton Butler, 29, had been cited by the National Park Service with a misdemeanor for jumping from a natural feature. However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has dismissed the charge against Butler.

Butler and Amber Bellows, 28, had been married for two weeks when they planned to go BASE jumping off of Mount Kinesava in Zion National Park last Saturday. While BASE jumping is legal in some areas, it is a prohibited activity in the park. Bellows reportedly fell 2,000 feet to her death when when her parachute failed to open.

Butler was subsequently cited with the misdemeanor.

“To be sure, base jumping in Zion National Park is unlawful, and this tragic base jumping accident underscores some of the reasoning behind the regulations which prohibit such conduct in Zion National Park,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “Nevertheless, the interests of justice do not warrant prosecution of Mr. Butler.”

BASE jumping stands for Building, Antenna, Span and Earth, noting the objects that one can jump from.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

Mount Kinesava at sunset, taken from Grafton, Utah, March 25, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Mount Kinesava at sunset, taken from Grafton, Utah, March 25, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

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5 Comments

  • Tia February 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Give the poor man a break. I think he has suffered enough.

    • Dan Lester February 13, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      They DID give him a break by dropping the charges.

  • Bender February 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    In my opinion it was appropriate to file changes and also appropriate to then drop them. This guy will be serving a life-long sentence no matter what.

  • mary February 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Amen to that Bub. This situation really saddens me.

  • mary February 13, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    My bad….I meant amen to Bender.

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