Kanab Zipline employee falls to his death trying to help rider

Posted at 8:00 PM, Jul 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-15 14:30:03-04
Kanab Zipline employee Darrell Gilley - Facebook

Kanab Zipline employee Darrell Gilley - Facebook

KANAB, Utah - An employee at Kanab Zipline fell to his death in an attempt to help a rider off a zip line, Kanab police confirmed Tuesday evening.

Darrell Gilley, 54, of Kanab, was a new employee at Kanab Zipline, Police Chief Tom Cram said.

He was working at a platform helping riders get off the zip line Tuesday.

Cram said riders on the zip line have a brake device to slow down as they approach the end of the line.

The police chief said one rider didn’t brake soon enough, came in to the platform too fast and started going back up the line.

Fearing the rider would be hurt, Cram said, Gilley grabbed the rider and ended up going up the line with the rider.

Gilley ended up losing his grip and dropped 150 feet onto the rocks below.

According to Gilley's fiancee, Leslie Moses, they were to be married at the end of the month.

She said Gilley had recently moved to Kanab from California to be with Moses.

Moses said Gilley just started working at the Kanab Zipline and also had plans to start a food and clothing ministry for those in need.

Kanab Zipline General Manager Justin Barnes released the following statement:

"We are really sorry to announce that one of our contractors was killed today while operating the zip line. We offer our sincere condolences to the family of the contractor. Our priority today is looking after the family of the deceased. We have had a 100 percent safety record. Safety always comes first so we are working closely with the authorities, investigating why this accident happened."

Kanab City police are investigating the incident.

Kanab Zipline starts above the Vermilion Cliffs and overlooks Kanab, providing views of the Grand Canyon North Rim and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

According to the company's website there is 2,500 feet of zip line with heights of 350 feet and speeds reaching 35 mph.