A 22-year-old man died Sunday after jumping off Corona Arch in southeastern Utah with friends. Swinging off the 140-foot high natural bridge has been billed as "the granddaddy of all cheap thrills" and YouTube videos helped popularize the jump.
In January state officials banned commercial tour operators from aiding tourists in making the jump. At the time, the general counsel of the state land trust cavalierly told the Salt Lake Tribune, "If people want to huck themselves off a cliff or arch that's their business."
The attorney explained that "[t]here is a general principle that owners who hold their land open for recreational use are insulated from liability. We felt there was more risk [of exposure to the state] if someone operated under a permit and someone got hurt."
A tour operator told the Tribune when the decision was made he understood it, but feared that with only amateur options remaining things could go very wrong. "If you don't do it exactly right you can die," he said.
ABC 4 reports that the rope used during the deadly Sunday jump was not measured correctly. It's unclear if thrill-seekers will continue to be allowed to "huck themselves" off the landmark.
One video promoting the jump, "World's Largest Rope Swing," was uploaded to YouTube last February and has over 17 million views.