Debris plunges over Utah waterfall, kills 25-year-old man below, authorities say

A 25-year-old man died Sunday in what authorities call a “freak accident” at Bridal Veil Falls in Utah, KSTU reported.

A log or rock apparently plunged over the Provo Canyon waterfall, striking the man in the head as he stood at the base of the falls, The Gephardt Daily reported.

“We got a call about 10 minutes to 3. Initially, it had been reported as a fall here at Bridal Veil Falls and that somebody had sustained critical injuries,” said Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, KTVX reported. “We later determined it wasn’t a fall. It was some debris or a large rock or a group of rocks fell and hit an adult male.”

The man, visiting from Mexico, suffered critical head injuries and died despite the efforts of his family to revive him, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

On Tuesday, authorities identified him as Fernando Alderete Salazar, KSL reported.

“He was a good kid,” Salazar’s family said in a statement, according to the station. “He was a soccer fan of Cruz Azul and he will even be wearing a team shirt in his funeral. He was going to graduate college and become an accountant. He always helped his family out and all his friends and family loved him.”

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office says there’s no sign that other hikers dislodged the debris, The Daily Herald reported.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.