Friends Remember Florida Woman Who Died After Grand Canyon Fall

By Jim Liao, Epoch Times
July 12, 2016 Updated: July 12, 2016

A Florida woman died on July 8th when she lost her footing while standing at the edge of a cliff of the Grand Canyon, says the National Park Service.

Colleen Burns, 35, had been hiking with friends at the national landmark.

She was posing for pictures with her group at a cliff edge on the South Kaibab Trail, when Burns’ group switched out for another group. Jessica Roman, a friend of Burns’, told WESH that Burns stepped aside to make room for another man when she suddenly lost her footing and fell backward.

“She was stepping out of the way for another gentleman to kind of squeeze in, and unfortunately, Colleen kind of got tripped up on her own feet and fell backwards, fell into the canyon,” Roman said. “That was the longest, strangest, craziest two seconds of my life.”

Some media outlets, however, reported that she may have been taking a selfie.

Grand Canyon National Park Service says rangers found her body 400 feet below the cliff at Ooh Aah Point.

An investigation of the incident is being conducted by The National Park Service and the Coconino County medical examiner.

Remembering Burns

Friends in Burns’s hometown of Orlando gathered on Monday to commemorate her.

“Those last two seconds where everything changed are so minute in comparison to all the memories I have with her,” said Roman.

“She was a force, and it wasn’t her trying to be that, that’s just who she was,” said Joshua Johnson, whose wife was introduced to him by Burns.

Burns had been working as a marketing director for Yelp in Orlando. Yelp issued the following statement to WESH:

“We are deeply saddened by the death of Colleen Burns, a cherished Yelp colleague and friend. Colleen launched the Yelp community in Orlando nearly seven years ago. Her passing represents a tremendous loss to our company, the communities she supported and the many friends she made while doing what she loved. We are heartbroken but thankful to have been positively shaped by her passion and joy for life.”

Friends of Burns also took to social media to pay their respects, including American DJ Kaskade, whom Burns was known for being a passionate fan of.