Woman Dies After Falling Backward Into the Grand Canyon

Thirty-five-year-old Colleen Burns fell 400 feet into the Grand Canyon on Friday, after moving backwards to make space for another tourist.


Burns was hiking with friends on the South Kaibab Trail, when she slipped off the Ooh Aah Point, according to the AP. Shortly before her death she shared this photo of herself sitting on the perimeter of the Canyon:

Many outlets are characterizing Burns’ death as a selfie gone wrong. People’s headline reads “Florida Woman Falls 400 Feet to Her Death at Grand Canyon After Posting Photo of Herself on Cliff Edge,” but in that same article they quote her friend Jessica Roman, who witnessed the fall:

“She was just, like, stepping out of the way for another gentleman to, kind of, squeeze in... Unfortunately, Colleen just kind of got tripped up on her own feet and fell backwards. She fell into the canyon...

“That was the longest, strangest, craziest two seconds of my life. Those last two seconds where everyone changed are so minute in comparison to all the memories I have with her.”

Burns worked for Yelp as their Orlando regional marketing director. The company remembered her in a Twitter post:

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin


Thank you for being clear in what actually happened. I found out what happened early Saturday morning and the way the story is being covered by many outlets today is incredibly misleading and clearly click bait. I’ve always known I shouldn’t read comments but these articles have really brought that point home. I didn’t know Colleen as well as many others but she was incredibly wonderful, loving person who lived for bringing people together. My facebook feed has been flooded with amazing stories from people who love her. I’m trying to focus on those, instead of these sensationalized stories with disgusting comments.