Man falls to his death hiking in Utah with fiancée's 9-year-old son

Hiker, 40, falls to his death from Utah canyon while hiking with his fiancée’s nine-year-old son who had to climb back down alone to raise alarm

  • Adrian Vanderklis, 40, fell to his death while on a hiking trip through Utah’s Provo Canyon with his fiancée’s nine-year-old son 
  • His body was found at an elevation of about 5,800 feet on a nearly vertical slope
  • Authorities say it is unclear why Vanderklis fell or how far; he died immediately as a result of his injuries
  • The nine-year-old boy was not injured during the incident and came down the mountain on his own 
  • Police said the boy did not actually see the moment Vanderklis fell
  • Adrian Vanderklis, 40, (pictured) fell to his death while on a hiking trip with his fiancée's nine-year-old son

    Adrian Vanderklis, 40, (pictured) fell to his death while on a hiking trip with his fiancée’s nine-year-old son

    A 40-year-old man fell to his death while on a hiking trip with his fiancée’s nine-year-old son, leaving the boy to climb down the mountain by himself. 

    Adrian Vanderklis, of Roosevelt, Utah, took the boy on a climb through Provo Canyon near Bridal Veil Falls on Saturday.

    His body was found at an elevation of about 5,800 feet on a nearly vertical slope.

    Deputies with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene just after 7pm when Vanderklis’ fiancée, Shantell Taylor, called to report him missing, saying she hadn’t seen him for ‘several hours’.

    According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, Taylor could see her son from below, noting that he was ‘crying and alone’.

    Vanderklis (pictured with his fiancée Shantell Taylor and their children) took the boy on a climb through Utah's Provo Canyon near Bridal Veil Falls on Saturday

    Vanderklis (pictured with his fiancée Shantell Taylor and their children) took the boy on a climb through Utah’s Provo Canyon near Bridal Veil Falls on Saturday

    His body was found at an elevation of about 5,800 feet on a nearly vertical slope (Bridal Veil Falls pictured above)

    His body was found at an elevation of about 5,800 feet on a nearly vertical slope (Bridal Veil Falls pictured above)

    Rescue crews began searching for Vanderklis that evening, however the operation was called off and postponed due to darkness.

    His body was recovered by a helicopter crew on Sunday and was taken to a medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.

    Officials determined that Vanderklis died immediately as a result of his injuries.

    At this time, it remains unclear why he fell. Authorities say it is possible that he stumbled or slipped on loose material.

    While the boy was with him during the incident, he did not actually see Vanderklis fall.  







    Authorities say it is unclear why Vanderklis (pictured with Taylor on his left) fell, but they do believe that he died immediately as a result of his injuries

    Authorities say it is unclear why Vanderklis (pictured with Taylor on his left) fell, but they do believe that he died immediately as a result of his injuries

    Police say the child was not injured and came down the mountain on his own.

    Since the accident, Vanderklis’ loved ones have taken to social media, sharing heartfelt tributes.

    ‘Adrian is watching from above now .. I don’t know what to say except we was happy .. he loved me like I love him.. u are my person Adrian I really love u and I love us,’ Taylor posted to Vanderklis’ Facebook page.

    He was described by another person as ‘always trying to make light of situations’ and having ‘impacted a lot of people’s lives over the years’.

    Since the accident, Vanderklis' loved ones have taken to social media, sharing heartfelt tributes

    Since the accident, Vanderklis’ loved ones have taken to social media, sharing heartfelt tributes

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