Kevin Morroun, 35, of Moab died in a BASE-jumping accident at about 7 p.m., on Friday, March 21, when jumping from the cliffs above Mineral Canyon in an area known as the “sweet spot,” according to a sheriff’s office press release.
“(Morroun) had the biggest heart in the world. It was made of gold for sure,” Morroun’s friend and Skydive Moab colleague Jimmy Peterson told the Deseret News. Peterson described Morroun as a “brother from another mother.”
Morroun was an experienced skydiver, serving as an instructor for Skydive Moab. Morroun’s friend Jimmy Peterson told the Deseret News he wasn’t with Morroun during the fatal jump, but friends who were told him Morroun was attempting a double back flip and didn’t pull the rip cord in time for his parachute to fully deploy.
“In the course of doing his aerial acrobatics, I don’t think he gave himself enough time to get the canopy fully deployed,” Grand County Sheriff’s Lt. Kim Neal said.
The sheriff’s office was notified as soon as the man’s friends found cellular service in the area, which is about 40 miles west of Moab and about one mile east of the Mineral Bottom boat launch. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Grand County Search and Rescue and a helicopter from Classic Lifeguard responded to the area. According to the release, they called off the recovery on Friday night before resuming at 6:30 a.m., on Saturday, March 22. Search and Rescue lowered the man’s body to the bottom by setting up several belays down an “extreme tallus slope,” completing the recovery at about 12:30 p.m. The distance from the top of the cliff to the location where the body was found is an estimated 400 feet.
“You were the best and unfortunately god took you too soon,” Peterson posted on Facebook. “You’ll always be my best friend/family. It’s too hard to accept that your no longer here with us. I love you man. Make sure I don’t (mess) anything up until we meet again, and come fly with me in the mean time.”
Officials say man’s parachute didn’t deploy in time to complete stunt