UVa. med student dies in Utah cave

By Associated Press
Thursday, November 26, 2009; 5:33 PM

A 26-year-old University of Virginia medical student died early Thursday after he became stuck upside down in a Utah cave for almost 28 hours.

Rescue teams had been working for hours but were unable to free John Jones, of Stansbury Park, Utah.

Jones was part of a group of 11 people exploring the passages of Nutty Putty Cave, a popular spelunking site about 80 miles south of Salt Lake City. The 6-foot-tall, 190-pound Jones got stuck with his head at an angle below his feet Tuesday night.

The crevice where Jones became wedged was about 150 feet below ground in an L-shaped area of the cave known as "Bob's Push," which is only about 18 inches wide and 10 inches high, said Utah County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

Workers at one point had freed Jones, but a rope and pulley system failed and he became stuck a second time. At times more than 50 rescuers were involved in the effort.

Jones was married and has an 8-month-old daughter. He was a second-year medical student.

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