Nine-Year-Old Boy Climbs Down Mountain Alone After Man Falls To His Death

Bridal Veil Falls, Provo, Utah

Photo: Getty Images

A Utah man fell to his death while hiking with the nine-year-old son of his fiancee. Adrian Vanderklis, 40, took the boy for a hike in the Bridal Veil Falls area of Provo Canyon in Utah when he slipped and fell, leaving the young boy all alone.

The boy's mother called the police on Saturday (July 17) night to report that Vanderklis and her son had not returned from the hike. She told officers that she could see her son from the ground and that he was crying and alone on the mountain.

The young boy managed to climb down the trail on his own and was unharmed. Authorities said that the boy did not witness Vanderklis fall.

A search-and-rescue team located his body near a steep slope at around 5,800 feet just before dark but could not retrieve it at the time. On Sunday, a helicopter was dispatched and removed his body from the canyon.

Officials said that he likely died immediately due to injuries sustained in the fall and have taken his body to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

"While it is unclear exactly why Mr. Vanderklis fell, it is possible he stumbled or slipped on loose material," the Utah County Sheriff's Office said. "Regardless, it appeared he was killed immediately as a result of the fall."

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