Man Dies by Apparent Suicide After Vehicle Goes Over Grand Canyon Rim: 'We Are Devastated'
A man has died by apparent suicide after he drove over the rim of the Grand Canyon, officials say.
Ruby Steele, the interim CEO for the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation, confirmed the tragic incident in a post on Grand Canyon West's Facebook Wednesday.
Steele — who is a member of the Hualapai Tribe, which owns and operates the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation — said the incident unfolded earlier that day in Peach Springs, Arizona.
"Earlier today, a situation occurred at the western rim of the Grand Canyon as a visitor to the site tragically took his own life," Steele wrote. "The people of the Hualapai Tribe mourn their loss along with the individual's family and friends."
"The Hualapai people consider the canyon a place of sacred beauty and healing, and we are devastated by this tragedy," Steele continued. "Our team joins in thoughts of peace as a journey to healing begins for the individual's family, guests of Grand Canyon West, and our staff."
At this time, no information about the man's identity has been released.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Lea Cooper, the marketing director for the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation, confirms that the man was alone in the vehicle at the time.
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"Details are still unfolding ... [but] based on the nature of the course of action of the individual, we do believe that it was an intentional event," Cooper says of the active investigation. "We are working with the Hualapai Police Department (HPD) to uncover information as it becomes available."
"These are certainly challenging times," Cooper adds. "The entire Hualapai community sends thoughts of peace and healing for the individual's family and friends."
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In addition to the Hualapai Tribe, Grand Canyon West is home to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
The popular tourist destination is a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that extends 70 feet over the canyon, providing visitors with a 4,000-foot high breathtaking view of the canyon floor and the Colorado River, according to its website.
Tragically, the site has also been the place where others have died. In September 2019, a 28-year-old man's body was recovered after he jumped from the Skywalk bridge.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.