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Utah News

Victim Identified In Tragic Green Canyon Rock Climbing Incident

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Matthew Del Grosso was in full cardiac arrest by the time paramedics reached him.

A 23-year-old man died Thursday afternoon after suffering a severe head injury while rock climbing with two other individuals near Big Cave in Green Canyon. He was identified late Friday morning as Matthew Del Grosso, a Utah State University student from Maryland.

Del Grosso’s body was recovered by the Search and Rescue high angle team by 5:30 p.m. Thursday. According to Chief Deputy Matt Bilodeau, Cache County Search and Rescue crews initially had to postpone the recovery operation due to severe weather.

“As emergency responders were going to the area, they were almost immediately followed by the storm that hit in the afternoon,” Bilodeau said. “The victim was pronounced dead on the scene, and lightning started to ensue, hitting around in the canyon there. For the safety of all the emergency personnel, the decision was made to pull them off the hill. They’re like lightning rods up there.”

Del Grosso was in full cardiac arrest by the time paramedics reached him, and he was later declared dead. His body has been turned over to the Medical Examiner’s office in Salt Lake City, where they will investigate the cause of death. Bilodeau said it may take a few days before they reach a conclusion.

Del Grosso was a PhD student at USU and had previously studied Molecular Biology and Psychology at Salisbury University in Maryland. His closest of kin were informed of the incident Thursday afternoon.

Bilodeau urged community members to exercise caution this weekend, as it will continue to rain in the mountains.