Man seriously injured as 8 attempt to illegally bicycle through tunnel at Zion National Park

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Zion Mt. Carmel Tunnel. Courtesy Zion National Park.

ZION NATIONAL PARK – A West Jordan man was seriously injured in Zion National Park Friday, and officials said he was among eight people who attempted to bike through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel illegally.

According to a press release from Zion National Park, two of the cyclists hit a tunnel wall and crashed, and a 51-year-old man from West Jordan suffered “significant head trauma.”

The man was taken to a hospital by ambulance; the other cyclist involved in the crash declined medical care.

Officials said in the release it is illegal to bicycle through the 1.1 mile-long tunnel due to safety reasons. Officials said the eight were part of a larger group of 12 who had arranged to be shuttled through the tunnel, as per protocol, but eight of the group members, including two minors, decided to ride through instead. The group entered the tunnel around 4:30 p.m. Friday.

According to the release, one of the cyclists told officials, “As soon as we rounded the corner, it was like pitch black, and that’s where it happened… he was just lying there. They were in a bad spot, and only two of the bikers had little flashers. I thought, ‘someone else is going to get killed.’”

The cyclist went back to the mouth of the tunnel to alert incoming traffic of the crash.

“That was my first thought cause I didn’t want anybody else to get hurt,” the cyclist told officials. “It was really stupid what we’d done… I think we all learned our lesson and we now have to pay the price.”

Park rangers issued violation notices to the group. The current condition of the injured cyclist is unknown.

8 comments

  • Courtney

    The man who was injured the worst is a dear friend of mine. Please be kind as you comment on this article. We all make mistakes. Please keep him and his wonderful family in your prayers. No one deserves to go through this, especially such a wonderful family.

  • jclifon

    With all due respect to Courtney, this individual is an idiot. He knew it was illegal, had already made arrangements, then bailed to aggressively pursue his idiocy. He put his own life and that of others at risk. Plus put at risk the emotional life of someone who might have hit him coming from another direction who would have had to live with that.

  • Courtney

    Yes, it was a stupid decision. What’s done is done. Name calling will not solve anything. The truth is, I know him. You do not. He is an amazing human being who made a wrong decision. He is now paying for it by laying nearly lifeless in a hospital bed. I hope his sweet children don’t find your rude comment about their dad. We tend to forget that these people are human beings with feelings when we are typing our harsh comments onto a screen. Please be kind.

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