17-Year-Old Utah Girl Dies After Falling 30 Feet While On Moab Hike With Friends

A Utah teen has tragically passed away after a hiking trip with friends turned fatal.

On Friday, the 17-year-old girl was hiking with friends on the Moab-Rim trail in the Kane Creek Canyon area of Grand County, when she slipped and fell “approximately 30 feet off a sheer cliff face” — according to a Friday statement by Chief Jared Garcia of the Moab County Police Department.

The high school student’s friends called emergency services at around 4:10 p.m. while attempting to find a way to get to her, but could not do so safely. The MPD, Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Grand County Search and Rescue, Moab Fire, and EMS all quickly arrived at the scene, and after using “harnesses and climbing gear with rope” to reach the victim, they discovered she was “deceased from the fall.” So, so sad. Read the full statement (below):

The teen victim was identified the same day by the Grand County School District as Zoe McKinney, a high school senior. The school district wrote in their statement:

“The school community is grieving with Zoe’s family and will provide love and support in any way we can,  including having therapists available at school on Monday.  Zoe was a remarkable student and we will honor her memory throughout the remainder of this senior year.”

See the full release (below):

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McKinney’s boyfriend, Lloyd Gist, 18, told NBC News Saturday:

“She had the brightest smile. She was just the sweetest — if anyone asked her to do anything she would be jumping on it instantly.”

The two had been dating for almost a year.

Iryss Mason, one of McKinney’s close friends, told KTSU Saturday that the late teen had been “working on getting her EMT license, because that’s all she wanted to do was help people.”

Avery Orton, another friend and fellow cheerleader for Grand Country High School remembered McKinney as extremely supportive, telling the outlet:

“[McKinney] was there for everyone on the team and talked to us all the time, so we were just really close with everyone — especially her.”

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Orton’s mother, Rebecca Monceaux, added:

“[She was] somebody that the girls really looked up to. She was a senior, and she just had so much ambition and big plans ahead of her.”

In the wake of her death, a GoFundMe page has been started to help McKinney’s mother, Belinda Thompson, with “funeral expenses.” As of now, over $15,000 has been raised. You can visit the campaign HERE.

What a loss. The young leader will be missed by many. Share your support in the comments down below. Rest in peace.

[Images via Zoe McKinney/Instagram & FOX 13 News Utah/YouTube]

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