Federal prosecutors have dismissed a misdemeanor citation against deceased woman, Amber Marie Bellows‘ husband, Clayton Hoyt Butler after his wife tragically died this Saturday past during an illegal base dive at Zion National Park, Utah.
Prosecutors told yesterday that while the jump was illegal, the interests of justice don’t warrant prosecuting the husband.
Had the charge stuck, the man would have potentially been facing a six month jail sentence.
Told Zion National Park spokesperson Melodie Rydalch: ‘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.’
The latimes goes on to note that many other parachuters have faced federal charges as a result of jumping off cliffs in national parks in what has been a decades-long battle between parks officials and thrill-sports enthusiasts.
Parks officials told Bellows’ death was the 29th case of a fatal fall at Zion, but the first involving a BASE jump.
Because jumpers remain so close to the building or cliff from which they jumped, the sport is considered more dangerous than skydiving from a plane.
Read a recent obituary: ‘Her family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to the Zion National Park rescue team who risked their lives to help bring Amber home.’
More than $8,000 had been raised for Butler in an online campaign. Bellows’ funeral is scheduled for Friday.
The couple were married in Salt Lake City two weeks before Bellows’ death.