Base jumper falls to death after parachute deliberately set on fire

A 73-year-old base jumper has died after setting his own parachute on fire during a stunt.

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by Ellie Hooper |
Published on

The extreme sports loving pensioner leapt off a bridge in Idaho, setting his parachute on fire with the view to deploy a second chute moments later.

And while police reports appeared to suggest James E. Hickey died after failing to deploy his parachute early enough, video footage of the tragedy shows otherwise.

The base jumper got into trouble after setting his parachute on fire

After becoming engulfed in a fireball, Hickey drops quickly out of view before hitting the water. A boat is on the scene within seconds, but then the video ends abruptly.

A coroner’s report issued reveals that Hickey, of California, died of blunt force trauma.

This is the second incident within days in which prolific base jumpers have died doing the spot they love.

At the weekend, Dean Potter and Graham Hunt died in Yosemite National Park in California, after performing a risky base jump where the sport is banned.

But despite the dangers associated with the practice, it seems these adrenaline junkies find the rush outweighs them, with Dean Potter making this comment on the matter:

‘Though sometimes I have felt like I’m above it all and away from any harm, I want people to realise how powerful climbing, extreme sports or any other death-consequence pursuits are’ he wrote in October.

‘There is nothing fake about it whether you see it in real life, on YouTube or in a glamorous commercial.’

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