17-Year-Old Hiking With Friends Dies After Falling Off A Cliff

You never know what’s going to happen in life. Sometimes unexpected tragedies happen to the best people. This is one of those stories.

On February 10, 2023, a 17 year old high school senior and cheerleader named Zoe McKinney went hiking with her friends. They were hiking the Moab Rim Trail when McKinney slipped and fell approximately 30 feet.

According to a statement released by the Moab City Police Department, McKinney, “slipped and fell approximately 30 feet off of a sheer cliff face. Friends called 911 and attempted to find a way to get to the victim, but there was no safe way to do so.” The statement continues, “Search and Rescue personnel, along with Fire and EMS, worked vigorously to climb to the area above the victim.”

McKinney died from the fall and was already pronounced dead before even making it to the hospital. It took Search and Rescue two hours to recover her body.

McKinney’s boyfriend, Lloyd Gist, also a senior, was in Salt Lake City at the time of McKinney’s death. He told NBC News that they were “inseparable.” He added, “She was just the sweetest — if anyone asked her to do anything she would be jumping on it instantly.” They had been dating for almost a year.

According to Iryss Mason, one of McKinney’s close friends, “All she wanted to do was help people.” Mason told FOX affiliate KSTU that McKinney was “working on getting her EMT license.”

The Grand City School District also released a statement following McKinney’s death. In the statement, the school district shared, “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.”

A GoFundMe was set up for McKinney’s family, to pay for funeral costs. The fundraiser was later closed after raising $20,838.

Watch the video below to learn more about this tragedy and how McKinney’s friends and family are remembering her.

Rest in peace.