A photographer out “doing what he loved” has tragically fallen hundreds of feet to his death as he tried to find a better vantage point.
19-year-old Jonathan Fielding passed away on January 27 while shooting photos on Moon Overlook near Torrey, Utah.
Fielding lost his footing while searching for a better spot to train his camera from, the shaky ground causing him to slip over the canyon edge, according to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
In an obituary posted by his family, they wrote, “We take some comfort knowing that he was doing what he loved at the time of the accident.”
“He was on a photo shoot with friends in the beautiful Utah wilderness where he loved to be,” the family adds.
His sister Rebecca Fielding tells ABC 4 that her brother was instantly killed after the 300 foot fall. She visited the spot where he died and noted that the ground was flimsy — but gave the impression that it was sturdy.
“The biggest thing that can be done to support my family is to spread awareness about hiking safety. So many people take risks, so many people just want that perfect shot, that perfect view, but it is not worth anyone’s life,” she says.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize just how dangerous those areas are, it is just so easy to just slip and fall.”
Wayne County officials have ruled Fielding’s death as accidental and emphasized that he was not climbing anything at the time, they believe he was simply trying to find a better spot for his photograph.
“It was a tragic accident, but Jonathan should be a cautionary tale to anyone who hikes or does photography,” his sister Rebecca wrote on Facebook.
“Never trust the ground on the edge of a cliff. The rocks may look solid, the ground might seem like it will hold, but it’s still an eroding ticking time bomb. All it takes is one wrong step to dislodge rocks, one moment of unbalance, a trip over a rock, and you can plummet to your death.
“No view is worth your life. No view is worth the suffering that your family and friends will go through. No view is worth the risk that rescuers face when trying to save people and recover bodies.”