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Investigation concluded after Richfield mother of four fell to her death

Mar 30, 2022, 4:58 PM | Updated: 6:10 pm
Utah outdoor safety Richfield fall...
Bulls Head Cliff in Sevier County, Utah. Photo credit: Sevier County Sheriff's Office

RICHFIELD, Utah — The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office says it finished an investigation into the death of a Richfield resident. And it reports that evidence at the scene confirms witness accounts who were hiking in the same canyon at the time of the accident.

Richfield resident was hiking “Bulls head”

On Sunday, 26-year-old Candice Thompson was hiking with her husband in an area referred to by local residents as “Bulls head” in central Utah. Before she fell, officials said Thompson was standing at the edge of an overhang that had eroded away underneath.

In a statement, the Sheriff’s Office said that Thompson had been standing on a “weak portion of the rock edge,” when it broke away. It is estimated that she fell between 75 and 100 feet.

The erosion was due to the combination of winter weather and moisture, the Sheriff’s office said. And as they looked at other areas of the same cliff face, officials said other ledges showed exposure to the weather.

Witnesses told officials that Thompson’s husband, reportedly a Richfield police officer, was 20 feet up the hill and away from his wife when she fell.

They told officials that he ran immediately to the edge looking for her, and then ran around the hill attempting to get where his wife had fallen. According to the witnesses, the husband was dialing 911 as he tried to reach his wife.

Officials said that examination of the cliff face and ledge showed recent fractures and exposure and that other edges show similar exposure to the weather.

The Utah Medical Examiner’s Office has investigated the cause of death. Officials said their investigation has not yielded any suspicious causes other than the fall.

How Utah officials work to keep trails safe

There are officials across the state who work to keep Utah’s many outdoor recreation sites as safe as possible for those who use them. An official with Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation told KSL NewsRadio that in the parks, trails, and open spaces they manage, they perform regular maintenance and safety inspections.

And Liz Sollis, the director of community engagement with Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation, said they make a concentrated effort to monitor heavily used parks and trails.

In 2020, Sollis said they made changes to the area around the Mount Olympus trailhead in Salt Lake County which they determined would be beneficial in keeping users safe. These changes included expanded parking, a vault toilet, and safer access to the trailhead from Wasatch Boulevard.

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Investigation concluded after Richfield mother of four fell to her death