Teen falls 300ft to his death trying to get a better photo at Utah canyon

Jonathan Fielding
(Image credit: Rebecca Fielding)

A 19-year-old hiker fell around 300ft to his death in Utah last weekend when he stopped to take photos with friends at a scenic overlook, say officials.

The tragic accident occurred when he was hiking near Moonscape Overlook, a popular area that overlooks Utah's Blue Valley. At around 5pm Fielding, a keen photographer, and two friends went to take pics near the edge of a cliff when Fielding lost his footing on unstable ground and fell over the canyon edge.

KUTV reports that Fielding had recently moved to Orem, Utah from Missouri. Fielding's death has been ruled accidental by the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

Jonathan Fielding

Jonathan Fielding, 19, loved photographing the Utah landscape (Image credit: Rbecca Fielding)

In an online obituary his family says, they are taking comfort in knowing he was “doing what he loved at the time of the accident… He was on a photoshoot with friends in the beautiful Utah wilderness where he loved to be.

A GoFundMe set up by family friends, launched to raise money for expenses related to the teen’s death, had collected over $26,000 as of Thursday.

Jonathan Fielding

Jonathan Fielding’s paid tribute to him, saying, “Jonathan was a fun-loving, intelligent young man that had developed some unique talents.” (Image credit: Rebecca Fielding)

Posting on Facebook, Fielding's sister Rebecca said she hoped the accident would remind people to be aware of hiking safety. Confirming that her brother had been trying to get a better photo when he fell, she said, “Jonathan thought he was invincible. He was so young, so happy, so full of life. Nothing scared him. This kind of thing was never supposed to happen to him. It doesn’t feel right being in a world without him.

“It was a tragic accident, but Jonathan should be a cautionary tale to anyone who hikes or does photography. Never trust the ground on the edge of a cliff. The rocks may look solid, the ground might seem like it will hold, but it’s still an eroding ticking time bomb… No view is worth your life. No view is worth the suffering that your family and friends will go through. No view is worth the risk that rescuers face when trying to save people and recover bodies.”