Man Falls To His Death, Forcing 9-Year-Old To Climb Down Mountain On His Own

This is not the waterfall in the story. (APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

Briana McCoy Contributor
Font Size:

A Utah man fell to his death Saturday while climbing near Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, Utah, with his fiancé’s 9-year-old son. 

Adrian Vanderklis, 40, was climbing with the 9-year-old boy, when it is believed that he possibly stumbled or slipped on loose material, leaving the boy to climb down the mountain on his own. 

Police were dispatched July 17 around 7:00 p.m. in search of Vanderklis and the boy. Vanderklis’ fiancé stated that she was able to see her son crying, but she hadn’t seen Adrian in hours, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office

The search for Vanderklis was halted after finding his body Saturday at 7:45 p.m. as the sun set, making getting off the mountain more dangerous as it got darker.

Police and volunteers began again Sunday morning. The Department of Public Safety helicopter crew secured his body to be brought off the mountain that morning. Vanderklis’ body was found on a very steep, almost vertical slope and at an elevation of around 5,800 feet. (RELATED: Block Of Ice Falls And Kills Climber, Injures Another)

Vanderklis’ body was then taken for an autopsy, which concluded that he died immediately as a result of the incident, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office stated.