Tourist Taking Photos Falls to Death in Grand Canyon

Tourist Taking Photos Falls to Death in Grand Canyon

A tourist is presumed dead after slipping and falling over a Grand Canyon lookout.

The incident happened on the Hualapai Tribe's reservation to the west of Grand Canyon National Park. According to reports from a spokesman for the tribe, David Leibowitz, on Thursday morning a man said to be in his 50s and from Hong Kong fell and slipped at Eagle Point while trying to take photographs. The man was part of a tour group.

Eagle Point is situated alongside the Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge sticking out from the canyon wall. The rim has some ledges and outcroppings below, although there is no barrier between tourists and the edge.

The area where the incident occurred has been closed for the day. Leibowitz extended prayers from the tribe.

The case is one in an increasing number of instances whereby photographers, or enthusiastic members of the public taking photos, have unintentionally caused their own death. Last year, Jiyoun Park fell 40ft to his death after standing on a ledge on top of a parking garage, meanwhile a German tourist was trampled to death in Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe after trying to get closer to an elephant to take a picture.

Lead image credit: Yavapai Point_09445 via Flickr CC.

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46 Comments

vik .'s picture

Was the photo good enough to die for?

Toby Seb's picture

Happens every year. Lack of focal lenght and stupidity kills. Prob was using his phone camera.

Przemek Lodej's picture

Darwin's natural selection at work. Keep it going.

The internet never fails....

Przemek Lodej's picture

Not sure why everyone is so offended....no intelligent person will put themselves in an obviously life threatening position just to take a stupid photo. Unfortunately we live in times when it's perceived more civilized or nicer to feel sorry for a person who dies out of sheer stupidity than feeling sorry for them for being plain and simply dumb. I traveled to many places where if I took it one inch or two further I would most likely die, but I used common sense and didn't push my luck. Overconfidence, lack of common sense, lack of respect for the surroundings...it all adds up.

Jeff Walsh's picture

A person dies and you feel justified, and even defend your lack of empathy. You're a disgusting person.

Przemek Lodej's picture

I absolutely have empathy for his family not for him. If it makes you better for feeling sorry for an idiot who also put in danger the people who ultimately recovered his body so be it. My friend is a mountain rescuer in Europe and throughout the year they rescue tourists who 8 out of 10 times act like complete imbeciles causing rapid response rescue teams to travel into very dangerous sections of the mountains in order to either help or sadly recover bodies of people who didn't think before they acted.
I do a lot of trekking and mountaineering and I've seen my own share of irresponsible, frankly dumb people. My response is based solely on my own experience.
You have no idea who I am, what I represent and what I stand for so calling me a disgusting person is pretty shallow.

Jeff Walsh's picture

you can try and justify your abhorrent mentality all you want. A person died by accident, you feel nothing, and that makes you an awful human.

Przemek Lodej's picture

People who know me would beg to differ. The person did not die by accident. He died because he acted totally irresponsibly and stupid. He ignored the signs and warnings which clearly state not to do it. What you and many others are doing however is justifying stupidity in the age of reason. We live in times when knowledge and information is very accessible in the developed countries, to which China would obviously belong to. If you ever visited the Grand Canyon there are signs everywhere to keep away from and not get close to the edge of the rim. The rock formations are covered with fine sandstone and are thus very slippery. It can take as little as a centimeter and a fraction of a second to lose your balance and fall. Despite the obvious I've seen people do this at Grand Canyon both South and North rim, at Zion, at Bryce, at Yosemite, in Machu Picchu where a month after my visit a German tourist fell close to 300 meters down into the Urubamba river when he crossed a clearly marked section of a terrace. You can frame it however you like, but it doesn't change the fact that people who do this and die are plain and simply stupid.
I have tremendous empathy for poor people (I have been sending packages with clothing and school supplies to poor children in Peru for the last 4 years bearing all the costs), for sick, less fortunate, physically and mentally challenged, but I don't however have empathy for people who choose to act stupid. Plain and simple.

Jeff Walsh's picture

I can literally copy and paste my previous reply. Justify your disgusting mentality all you want, doesn't change how awful you are. The end. Reply all you want now, I'm done with you.

Przemek Lodej's picture

Yea, unfortunately this is how people carry on conversations these days. I give you facts and you are offended. Pretty sad and frankly pathetic. Have a wonderful evening snowflake.

Toby Seb's picture

Wise words.

Ruth Carll's picture

Actually Przemek, you state above that you "traveled to many places where if I took it one inch further I would most likely die". All you would have to do is inadvertently trip then and this could easily be you this article was about. The guy slipped. It was an accident. When you slip, how do you want the article about you to be written?

Przemek Lodej's picture

Reading comprehension. That is NOT what I wrote. I wrote that I traveled to many places, but nowhere did I write that I walked to the edge of the rim. Read those sentences again. Mountaineering makes you much more aware of your surroundings and you take safety precautions before venturing into dangerous terrain. I know the dangers thus I don't do what many people do falsely believing that nothing will happen.
Two years ago at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona I saw first hand how reckless and dumb people can be. A large group of Chinese tourists ran down the hill to the rim like cattle. One lady holding a selfie stick ran dead on to the rim not looking ahead or at her feet and roughly 5 feet away from the edge she fell flat on her face with her back to the edge. She started rolling back onto her right side facing the edge and it if wasn't for one of her compatriots she would surely have ended up about 600ft down in the Colorado river. That would not be accidental. That would be simply reckless behavior. Similarly I saw similar behavior last year at the South Rim at Grand Canyon. Few hundred feet west of Mather Point there are two long ledges way past where visitors can venture. There were number of people who walked onto the roughly 3 ft wide rock that extends about 100 ft away from the rims edge. What they did absolutely blew my mind and you could hear people scream: are you insane, what are you doing?!" Two girls were jumping up while their friends were snapping photos. If that doesn't constitute stupid and reckless I don't know what does.

Duane Klipping's picture

"I traveled to many places where if I took it one inch further I would most likely die..."

So you are putting yourself in harms way if you are an "inch" away from falling. But somehow because you did not fall makes it ok for you because you are smart...wow.

Przemek Lodej's picture

You have some serious reading comprehension problems. Go back and read my statement again. I give up.

" If you have ever visited the Grand Canyon there are signs everywhere to keep away from and not get close to the edge of the rim. The rock formations are covered with fine sandstone and are thus very slippery. It can take as little as a centimeter and a fraction of a second to lose your balance and fall." There is no "I" there indicating I did it.

Jeff Walsh's picture

Damn, someone made a fatal mistake and this comment section is laughing. A family lost someone they loved because of one accident. Everyone cracking jokes, you're disgusting.

Lane Shurtleff's picture

Am I or anyone else truly supposed to feel sorry if this man pushed his limits too far just to take a picture that is available in a million places on the web or in a the gift store? Nope. Common sense skips many people these days, I guess you don't understand that. I shoot lots of landscapes in the southwestern US, I carry crampons and ropes to tie off for safety so I can focus on angles and framing. This false sense of safety is baffling.

Ruth Carll's picture

To answer your question - yes.

Jeff Walsh's picture

A fellow human being lost their life because they made a mistake, and you feel nothing or worse, you actually criticize the person's common sense. Do you understand how dead you are to compassion? A family is now mourning the loss of someone they loved dearly because of a simple mistake, and you feel NOTHING. You're gross.

Ken Flanagan's picture

People die every day making mistakes, but because you don’t know them you feel nothing. If your friend dies in a car accident that was their fault, I doubt you’d be so flippant. Mistakes happen all the time. Don’t be a dick.

Carl Murray's picture

Some people deal with tragedy with comedy, as a way to cope with complex and difficult things. We all deal differently. And like, what am I, a total stranger going to do? #ThoughtsAndPrayers, or something? Total garbage. May as well crack a joke.

If I die, especially if I die doing something stupid, I would hope that I am the butt of MANY jokes, most of them dark and depraved, the kind that makes delicate flowers feel offended on the internet.

I think the greater tragedy here is that a man named David Leibowitz is the spokesman for the Hualapai Tribe. He's probably their casino manager as well.

JetCity Ninja's picture

if you're going to make a joke with anti-semitic and anti-aboriginal undertones, you should've said he's probably the tribe's lawyer or at least the casino accountant.

the only thing worse than a racist is a half-assed one who lacks the conviction and integrity to go all out.

I dont see sn anti-aboriginal remark anywhere, and as for anti semitism Leibowitz sounds vaguely German to me.

And he probably had twelve Canons dangling from his neck adding to his downward monentum.

I understand that the person was foolish and it is (probably) his own fault. But joking about somebody's death? Shame on you all. Photography seems to be such an intellectual hobby, and yet, so many idiots here. What a shame.

Carl Murray's picture

Some people deal with tragedy with comedy. We all cope in our own ways. I wont judge you for your ineffective thoughts and prayers, but only if you don't judge me for crackin' a joke.

Well, coping with tragedy is a completely different story. But I don't see it happening here. I don't think people who are cracking stupid jokes here are emotionally unstable right now since it is safe to assume that they didn't know the victim personally. And if they did know the victim personally, them coming to Fstpoooers to crack a joke as a first action raises even more questions.

Joking about somebody's death is just stupid and insensitive, there can't be two opinions about this, some things are just inherently wrong. LIke killing someone for instance. This case just simply isn't as severe as the other.

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