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Thelma & Louise Redux? Man Drives Car Off South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park


An unidentified man apparently drove his car off the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. NPS photo.

An unidentified man died Monday when he apparently drove his car off the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and plummeted about 600 feet to the rocky slope below.

At about 6 a.m. Monday several calls were made to the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center to report that a car had driven over the edge near the El Tovar Hotel in Grand Canyon National

Upon arriving at the scene, investigators found tire tracks leading to the edge behind the Thunderbird Lodge and received reports of a single occupant in a blue passenger car driving over the edge.

Rescue personnel descended on ropes and located the vehicle approximately 600 feet below the rim. The body of a lone male was located shortly thereafter. Plans for retrieval of the body and the vehicle were being made.

An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service.


Holy sh*t!!! This is both sad and scary at the same time. Has anything like this ever happened before?

I think it's happened a few times, and not only in Grand Canyon. A few people have driven over the edge in Death Valley...usually they aren't found until the military flies overhead. I've often wondered why people love to commit suicide in the parks.

The famous/infamous scene from Thelma and Louise was shot at Dead Horse State Park, located just outside of Moab Utah. If you have never been you should go. It rivals the Grand Canyon.

Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon is a book (I believe there are other "Death in ..." titles as well) that literally goes through every death recorded inside of the park boundaries. Sadly, as RangerLady mentioned, suicide in our parks is not all that unusual. I believe the author had theories as to why that is; perhaps I'll have to get the book back out and read up on his thoughts.

After looking, it appears that through 2003, there were eleven suicides in nine different cars in park history, ranging back to the late 60's. This was just looking in the suicide chapter...if I recall correctly, there have been multiple accidents involving cars as well, from parents forgetting to set the brake, and having their children roll off the edge, and even people becoming disoriented in parking lots and going the wrong direction. This story above says nothing about suicide, and I'm not trying to infer anything...I just looked in that chapter, because I remember that as being the highest concentration of such accidents.

It was a fascinating book, and written very tastefully. It is a great resource for someone interested in the history of the area, as it not only gives you stories of tourist, hiker, and rafter accidents, which we can all learn from, but it does a great job of mixing in "real" history, the stuff you'd hear from the rangers, or read about in exhibits. Stories of Powell and early river explorers, the Hyde couple, the skeleton of the "Tanner Man" from 1000-1200 AD, and stories of early explorers who met their maker in the Canyon, such as man who Mooney Falls is named after.

Also, as I mentioned, there are books under the same "Death in ..." title for at least a few other major parks, which I would assume are equally as informative and well-written.

I used to work at the Canyon, if he drove over the edge near the El Trovar, it obviously was no accident. It would take a pretty good clip to go through the ledges wall....The accident plus the clean-up will undoubtly cause quite a bit of damage to the terrain and will probably close the Bright Angel Trail for a while.

See above...sorry for the double post.

Captain, folks at the park tell me that the driver somehow found a spot without the short wall, so no damage there.

I hope nobody gets hurt cleaning up after this guy.

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