Man Hiking in Utah With Fiancée’s 9-Year-Old Falls Off Cliff to His Death

by Madison Miller

A hiking trip near the gorgeous Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, Utah ended in tragedy for one man and his family.

It appears a simple slip or misstep led to a deadly fall.

Man Dies in Utah while Hiking

Adrian Vanderklis was hiking and climbing with his fiancée’s 9-year-old son when he fell to his death. The boy and Adrian were reported missing by his fiancée on Saturday evening.

After the man fell to his death, the young boy was left alone to climb down the mountain. A search and rescue team went out and found the boy, who had been alone for several hours.

According to USA Today, his mother said she could see her son from below as he was crying and incredibly upset. The Department of Public Safety released a helicopter crew to try to find Adrian Vanderklis. His body was spotted at about 5,800 elevation. He was on a nearly vertical slope when found. His body was recovered Sunday and arrived at the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.

“While it is unclear exactly why Mr. Vanderklis fell, it is possible he stumbled, or slipped on loose material. Regardless, it appeared he was killed immediately as a result of the fall. While the boy was with him, he did not actually see Mr. Vanderklis fall,” the sheriff’s office said to the publication.

Death in Grand Canyon National Park

Due to more traveling and extreme crowds in national parks, there’s been a lot of deaths in the news.

According to Outside, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is the deadliest of all the nation’s national parks. Deadly falls over the steep canyon walls into the treacherous water of the Colorado River have accounted for 27 deaths in the past decade. However, this isn’t the top cause of death in the national park.

There were 42 deaths that were a result of medical issues and natural deaths. This includes many people that die as a result of extreme heat conditions that can happen during the summer, especially deep within the canyon. Phantom Ranch has a record temperature of 120 degrees.

All in all, those not used to the heat or the hike could find themselves in some deadly situations.

USA Today reports the most recent death in the national park happened this past week. A man from Lousiana, 44-year-old Rodney Hatfield, died while on a multi-day hiking trip. He had just returned from the Phantom Ranch when he started experiencing difficulties hiking up a trail near the Indian Garden.

He ended up collapsing on the trail. The man did get to the Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse where he became unresponsive. After attempted resuscitation, the man passed away. The National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner will determine his exact cause of death.