Tourist jumps from Skywalk

On September 28, 2019, at about 4:30 p.m., a twenty-eight year old man jumped hundreds of feet to his death from the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Visitors were present to witness the incident.

The man climbed over the barrier of the Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped glass walkway, that hangs over the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai Indian Reservation. The Skywalk opened in 2007 but was immediately closed to the public after this occurrence.

“In the aftermath of Saturday’s tragic suicide, our hearts are with everyone impacted: the family of the man who took his own life, our guests and the Grand Canyon West employees on duty Saturday… Moving forward, we will explore whether new policies and more security in addition to our extensive Skywalk safety barriers might be used to make the Grand Canyon West even safer than it is today,” a spokesperson for Grand Canyon West stated.

This was not the first time that people have died on the Skywalk. Just last March, a Chinese tourist fell to his death when trying to take a picture. 

“About twelve people die at the Canyon each year,” said Vanessa Ceja-Cervantes, a Grand Canyon spokesperson.

Brandon Torres, the branch chief of Emergency Services at the Grand Canyon, discusses that in order to keep visitors safe there needs to be preparation and an understanding of personal physical limitations. 

Have in mind some of the activities that you might want to do, and if you’re going to be hiking into the Grand Canyon, you really have to plan ahead… It’s all about decision making. What’s your plan if things aren’t going to plan? Well, maybe it’s time to turn around and change the itinerary a little bit,” he stated.

Safety precautions are trying to be better implemented before the Skywalk reopens. The conflict is trying to preserve the natural beauty and keep visitors safe. Congress’ rule with parks was to “leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” 

The unidentified body of the man was found the following day and an investigation is taking place.