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Rope Swing Fatality on Trust Lands Brings Renewed Scrutiny of High Risk Recreation

The weekend fatality of a West Jordan man will become an unplanned topic at the State School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration or SITLA Board meeting later this week. 22-year-old Kyle Stocking died following a rope swing accident from Corona Arch which is located on SITLA Land. Kim Christy is the Deputy Director of the Administration which owns 3 point 4 million acres in Utah. He offered condolences to the family and friends of Stocking. He says SITLA tries to find the right balance of control of the land while keeping its use unrestricted.

“We operate these in such a way that we recognize that outdoor recreation has its own inherent risks and therefore people come at their own risk and so unfortunately these circumstances sometimes present themselves and it’s a very sad thing and we’re certainly not happy about it,” he says.

Christy says restrictions have been put on commercial of the site specifically for swinging off the arch. Lt. Kim Neal of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office is assisting with the on-going investigation of the accident. He says there was an apparent miscalculation of the proper length of the rope used.

“Where he had attached himself to the swing rope was not high enough on the rope," says Neal. "In the process he struck the ground as he was swinging.”

Neal says you can’t stress safety enough with these types of outdoor activities.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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