High winds blamed for falling tree that killed woman, BASE jumper crash

Jul 20, 2023, 9:04 PM | Updated: Jul 21, 2023, 9:05 am

CLEARFIELD, Utah — Intense winds were blamed for two major accidents Wednesday night. One of them took the life of a Clearfield woman another where deputies say a BASE jumper is lucky to be alive.

In both cases, police, paramedics and deputies were all out in the middle of that storm working to save lives.

City crews in Clearfield spent most of Wednesday clearing what’s left of a tree that was blown over.

Police got the call at approximately 7:15 p.m.

“Of an individual on the Rio Grande Trail that had been pinned by a tree that had fallen,” said Devin Rogers, assistant chief at the Clearfield Police Department.

He said officers and paramedics worked quickly, in the midst of the storm lifting the tree off of 68-year-old Rosario Bautista.

She was riding a bicycle here when it happened.

Rogers said, “She was in extremely critical condition at that time. Unfortunately, she passed away a short time after arriving at the hospital.”

Just about 15 minutes later, as the storm pushed to the north, Weber County deputies got a call.

“Had a male who was BASE jumping during that time we had some weather coming through,” said Lt. Mark Horton with the Weber County Sheriff’s Office.

Horton said it may have been a lapse in judgment as the man tried to get down before the storm picked up.

“Wind gust came through and forced him down faster than he wanted to go and he hit the mountain down towards the bottom,” Horton said. “Had some severe injuries.”

Weber County search and rescue crews worked through the rain and wind to carry the 27-year-old man back down the mountain.

Horton said the quick response came thanks to friends who were with the base jumper and they told paramedics where exactly where they were.

Horton said, “He’s very lucky. He’s extremely lucky. It could have been a lot worse.”

That BASE jumper is recovering in an area hospital. He’s stable but has some very serious injuries.

These kinds of things can be very hard to predict with the weather and how fast these storms roll in but Horton said it’s important to watch for the conditions and be ready to change your plans.

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High winds blamed for falling tree that killed woman, BASE jumper crash