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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