A Utah man hiking with the young son of his fiancee fell to his death near Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, leaving the 9-year-old boy to climb down the mountain by himself, authorities said.
The boy’s mother called for help, saying she could see her son from below, crying and alone, according to a press release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials said it is unclear why Adrian Vanderklis fell but said “it is possible he stumbled, or slipped on loose material.”
Volunteer search and rescuers and a Department of Public Safety helicopter crew responded Saturday evening. They found the body of the 40-year-old Vanderklis, of Roosevelt at an elevation of about 5,800 feet on a nearly vertical slope as night fell, and determined that he apparently died immediately as a result of his injuries.
The body was secured and hoisted off the cliff by the helicopter and then taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy, CBA affiliate KUTV reports.
The boy was with him but did not actually see Vanderklis fall, the sheriff’s office said.