Skier Dies Throwing Double Backflip Into Lake in Utah

SnowBrains | Cliff JumpingCliff Jumping

Above is the late Matt Heffernan’s 2014 highlight video.  The kid was a ripper.

23-year-old skier Matt Heffernan died while cliff jumping at Causey Reservoir, east of Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday.

Matt was drifting on tubes with 2 friends through the reservoir and intermittently stopping jumping off cliffs on the edge of the lake.  

Matt had jumped off a cliff for the fifth time.  He attempted a double backflip and landed in the water face first and did not return to the surface.

Cliff jumping in Causey Reservoir, Utah
Cliff jumping in Causey Reservoir, Utah

Matt’s friends jumped in after him but we unable to locate Matt.

A nearby kayaker saw the incident and paddle 1/3 of a mile to acquire cell phone reception and called 911.

Cliff jumping in Causey Reservoir, Utah
Cliff jumping in Causey Reservoir, Utah

Search and rescue crews arrived at the scene of the accident to look for the missing man at 11pm on Friday night.  On Saturday morning, divers and water crews continued the search for the missing jumper.

Cliff jumping in Causey Reservoir, Utah
Cliff jumping in Causey Reservoir, Utah

Matt’s body was found 50-feet down in the lake at 11am on Saturday.

The three tubing friends wore life jackets while rafting but removed them while cliff jumping.  Life jackets are required any time one is on the water county ordinance on the Causey Reservoir.

Location of Causey Reservoir, UT.
Location of Causey Reservoir, UT.

Matt Heffernan was orginally from Cleveland, Ohio but had been living in Salt Lake City, Utah for the past 6 years while attending the University of Utah.

Causey Reservoir is a well known cliff jumping mecca in Utah.

Cliff jumping in Causey Reservoir, Utah
Cliff jumping in Causey Reservoir, Utah

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6 thoughts on “Skier Dies Throwing Double Backflip Into Lake in Utah

  1. Um I live in Utah and in no stretch of the imagination would we say that Causey is “east of Salt Lake City” because it is in fact over an hour NORTH of Salt Lake City. And I also wouldn’t say that it’s a “well known cliff jumping mecca” as in fact it isn’t that well known because it’s super small and very out of the way. For those who know about it though, it is most popular to go paddle boarding since it’s too small to allow boats so you have free range without having to worry about vehicles. It’s actually 20 minutes down the road from Pineview which is a much bigger lake so people usually go there as it’s closer and bigger.

  2. Very sad. RM, I wonder how cold the water was. Cold water can be much denser than warm, and I’m sure you know how getting hit by 5 feet of incoming whitewater in Hawaii can feel like feathers, while the same in Northern CA is like getting hit by a truck.

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