Officials ID teen victim of fatal fall from Moab Rim Trail

Moab Police vehicle. Photo: Moab City Police/Facebook

MOAB, Utah, Feb. 11, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — The Grand County School District has identified the 17-year-old victim of a fatal fall from Moab Rim Trail as student Zoe McKinney.

“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,” the District statement says.

“Zoe was a remarkable student and we will honor her memory throughout the remainder of this senior year. If anyone in the community needs someone to talk to over the weekend, please call the FCCBH crisis line at 435-260-2919.”

The incident

McKinney was with a group of friends hiking the trail Friday afternoon, a statement from Moab City Police says, when she “somehow slipped and fell approximately 30 feet off 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.

“Moab Police Department, Grand County Sheriff‘s Office, Grand County Search and Rescue, Moab Fire and EMS all responded quickly to the area.”

Ultimately, harnessed rapellers used ropes were able to lower themselves to McKinney.

“Sadly, she was deceased from the fall.”

The police statement added, “We recognize the devastating impact the loss of this beloved young woman and friend has in this small community, but know that the wonderful people of Moab will band together to support and comfort her family and friends at this time.”


Friends shared tributes on Facebook:

  • “She was always everyone’s advocate and we will cherish her forever.”

● “She was a ball of sass ‘n’ light.”

● “There just aren’t words.”

● “She was an amazing girl.”

● “She was beautiful, strong and kind.”

● “I’ll forever miss you.”

● “She was such an amazing person and she had the biggest heart.”

● “My heart is shattered. You were the most special soul…. Thank you for always being such a bright light in our world. Fly (and flip!) with the angels, sweet girl. We will never be the same down here without you.”


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