Man falls to his death while climbing waterfall with stepson

A man has fallen to his death on a waterfall in front of a distraught nine-year-old boy he had been climbing with.

Adrian Vanderklis, 40, was climbing Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, in the US state of Utah, on Saturday when he fell to his death, police said.

Utah County Sheriff’s Office said Mr Vanderklis had been climbing with the nine-year-old son of his fiancée.

“The woman reported she could see her son, who was crying, but that she could not see her fiancé, and that she hadn't seen him for ‘several hours’,” police said.

Adrian Vanderklis, 40, is pictured.
Adrian Vanderklis, 40, fell to his death while mountain climbing. Source: Utah County Sheriff's Office

The boy climbed down on his own, police said.

Police were called about 7pm local time but struggled to find Mr Vanderklis and located his body 45 minutes later “on a very steep, near vertical, slope about 1/3 of a mile (400m) west of Bridal Veil Falls at an elevation of about 5,800 feet (1768 metres)”.

The Bridal Veil Falls waterfall, which is located in Provo Canyon, Utah, is pictured.
The Bridal Veil Falls waterfall where Mr Vanderklis fell. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

“While it is unclear exactly why Mr Vanderklis fell, it is possible he stumbled, or slipped on loose material,” police said.

“Regardless, it appeared he was killed immediately as a result of the fall.

“While the boy was with him, he did not actually see Mr Vanderklis fall.”

Mr Vanderklis's body has been taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

According to a GoFundMe page, Mr Vanderklis is survived by his fiancée Shantell and their three children, including the nine-year-old who was with him when he fell.

“Adrian was an amazing father, friend and person who would help whoever he could,” the page reads.

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