Boy, 12, dies after falling into swift-moving Utah river while vacationing with family

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A 12-year-old boy has died in Utah after falling into a river and being swept miles downstream on Saturday, authorities said.

The child, who was from Arizona, was vacationing with family near the Bridal Veil Falls when he fell into the swollen Provo River around 1:45 p.m., the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said.

Multiple agencies responded to search for the boy, who was spotted at multiple points along the river, FOX13 Salt Lake City reported. 

One rescuer tried to jump into the river to rescue the child after spotting him, according to the station, but the attempt was unsuccessful.


fast-moving river

Officials in Utah County have warned residents and visitors about the recent high water levels of the Provo River. (FOX13 Salt Lake City KSTU)

Officials said the swift water was moving the boy at 10 to 12 mph, KUTV reported. 

The sheriff’s office said the boy was pulled out of the river near Orem, 4 miles downstream from where he fell in.

fast-moving river

Officials warned visitors to stay at least 40 feet from the banks of the Provo River. (FOX13 Salt Lake City KSTU)

After saying the child was initially rescued, the sheriff’s office posted an update that the boy had died at a hospital.


The child’s identity has yet to be released.

Officials in Utah have warned of the Provo River’s high and fast-moving water, advising visitors to keep away from the water’s edge.

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls is located in the Wasatch Mountains near Provo, Utah. The child who fell into the Provo River near the falls was on vacation with his family, official said. (Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

“The Provo River is currently running at a very fast rate throughout the county,” the Provo Police Department said in a social media post. “It is EXTREMELY dangerous to recreate anywhere nearby – PLEASE STAY AWAY. Consider alternative locations until the flow returns to normal. If you do visit parks or trails along the Provo River, stay at least 40 feet away from riverbanks.”


On Friday, the Bureau of Reclamation declared an “Emergency Level 1” alert about high flows coming out of Deer Creek Dam and warned of possible minor flooding along the Provo River in the coming days.

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