A 22-year-old man recreating what has become a popular stunt was killed after apparently leaving too much slack in the rope he was using to swing through a sandstone arch in Utah, police said Monday.
Kyle Lee Stocking, of West Jordan, and five friends hiked to the Corona Arch in southeastern Utah on Sunday to attempt the stunt made famous on YouTube.
But Stocking miscalculated the length of the rope he used to swing from the 140-foot sandstone arch and struck the ground when he jumped, according to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
County deputies, search and rescue personnel, and paramedics all responded to the accident, but Stocking was pronounced dead at the scene.
Some of you may remember the phrase: “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”
Previously, hiking and adventure companies could charge to take daring patrons to the top of the arch for their chance to get the swing of a lifetime, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
But earlier this year Utah state officials outlawed the activity, largely because of the danger posed — and a forthcoming land exchange between the state’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) and the federal Bureau of Land Management.
The arch has nevertheless remained open for private parties wishing to climb or swing.
“If people want to huck themselves off a cliff or arch, that’s their business,” John Andrews, SITLA’s general counsel, told the Tribune in February. “There is a general principle that owners who hold their land open for recreational use are insulated from liability. We felt there was more risk [exposure to the state] if someone operated under a permit and someone got hurt.”
In New York City, big Dixie Cups and baby formula are outlawed. In Utah, you can legally throw yourself off a cliff for kicks. We really do live in different worlds.