Her golf swing didn’t score a hole-in-one, but it did score a minor fine.
The social media influencer who recorded a video of herself hitting a golf ball into the Grand Canyon in October has been ticketed and charged with three misdemeanours.
The video, which was reposted to Reddit, went viral in November and inspired outrage among many who viewed the dangerous act. The reckless golfer is Katie Sigmond, a TikTok influencer with nearly seven million followers. On her account, Sigmond regularly posts about playing golf.
In the video, Sigmond winds up to swing and hits a golf ball over Arizona’s Grand Canyon, only to lose her club in the process. Both the ball and club are hurled into the canyon.
In November, the Grand Canyon National Park shared a photo of the golf club mid-air and condemned the dangerous act.
“Do we really need to say, ‘don’t hit golf balls into the Grand Canyon?’” the park wrote.
Now, Sigmond has been handed three federal violation notices, a type of ticket issued by U.S. agencies for departments including the National Park Service. Sigmond was charged with tossing items into the Grand Canyon, littering and creating hazardous conditions with disorderly conduct.
In the end, Sigmond was only cited for disorderly conduct and tossing or throwing items into the canyon. The charge carries a maximum US$5,000 fine and six months in prison. She was let off relatively easily, and ordered to pay only a $285 fine, which included a $60 processing fee.
The Central Violations Bureau confirmed they received payment from Sigmond on Nov. 15.
Despite the Grand Canyon’s massive size (nearly 29 kilometres wide), a golf ball shot into the canyon could be fatal for a passerby below.
According to Grand Canyon National Park Trips, the odds of death in the Grand Canyon are one in every 400,000 visitors. Dying from heat or dehydration is one of the most common causes of death, outnumbering those who fall off the edge of the Grand Canyon, or who are hit by falling objects.
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