A 25-year-old man enjoying the majestic views of the Colorado River with his family accidentally fell more than 100 feet to his death while taking photos at Arizona’s Glen Canyon Dam Overlook. Crews recovering his body found another set of human remains nearby, officials said.
Orlando Serrano-Arzola of Phoenix, Arizona was at the Whitehouse Overlook trail, a very popular spot visitors go year-round, to view the bridge that overlooks the city of Page and crosses Lake Powell, when he fell about 9 a.m. Sunday, said officials.
Jon Paxton of the Coconino Sheriff’s Office told Inside Edition Digital that the young man had walked away from his family when the tragedy occurred. He was at the top of the rim in a location that overlooks the Colorado River. “He was up there with this family at the trail and he drifted off to get better photos,” said Paxton.
“He climbed down about 15 feet and lost his footing and fell straight down about 100 feet and continued to fall down another 150 feet,” said Paxton, who said his family heard something and immediately called 911.
Paxton said the area where the young man fell is open to the public.
“Once you leave the parking lot you are in open terrain; open land,” he said. “You can wander alongside cliffs for miles and miles if you wanted.”
There are railings but once you leave the overlook area to the canyons, there are no railings or stairs to rely on.
“It’s a long, long steep canyon. When you stand at the edge of the cliffs, it's about 200 to 300 feet down sheer face cliffs,” he said.
a deputy from the Coconino County Sheriff’s office rappelled to the victim at 9:27 a.m. and confirmed the victim had died, the National Park Service said in a statement. The person had suffered severe trauma and showed no signs of life after the fall. He was transported to the Medical Examiner’s office in Flagstaff for an autopsy.
Paxton said that there were members of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, National Park Service, Page Police Department and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that tried to assist the family during the unexpected tragedy.
During the recovery mission, the crew made a surprising discovery when bones were found at the base of the overlook that were also determined to be human remains, confirmed Paxton and the NPS in their release.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the National Park Service are conducting an investigation.
"The remains were sent out to the Medical Examiner’s office," said Paxton, “When we get more information, we will send out a release."
The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Page has areas that are more than 700 feet high.