GRAND COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – A man was pronounced dead on Jan. 7 as a result of a wingsuit flight gone awry.
According to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, the 55 year-old Moab resident died in his flight from a cliff overlooking Professor Valley near Rocky Rapid. The incident was reported midday “when his satellite messaging device detected an impact and automatically transmitted an SOS signal.”
After Grand County Search and Rescue sent out an emergency rescue, a helicopter located the man about 1,000 feet below the cliff where he had jumped from and about 700 feet above the river.
Two medics who were dropped off by the helicopter hiked to the man and confirmed he was deceased.
Grand County Sheriffs indicated that the man was located on a steep talus slope that was treacherous enough to require a “hoist operation.”
Wingsuit flying, which started in the late 1990s, is commonly known as one of the most dangerous extreme sports on the planet.
According to a survey done by Dr. Omer Mei-Dan, a BASE jumper and sports medicine doctor, 72% of wingsuit jumpers had seen firsthand a death or major injury in the sport. 76% reported having at least one near-miss incident where a possible fatality was avoided.