San Diego Base-Jumper Falls to their death from 23-Story University City High-Rise as daughter watches on.
A father plunged to his death while base jumping from a San Diego high-rise after the man’s parachute failed to deploy Tuesday night. The incident was witnessed by the man’s teen daughter, authorities said.
The 48-year-old ‘thrill seeker’, whose name has not been released, died during a failed BASE jump from the 23-story Palisade UTC apartment building in the University City section, just after 10.30 pm local time, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Police responded after a caller reported hearing a loud thud. The witness then stepped onto a balcony and spotted the victim bleeding on the ground below, the Union-Tribune reported.
The man, whose 16-year-old daughter witnessed his tragic leap, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
‘It’s not just one life lost, it’s another that is completely devastated,’ San Diego police Capt. Scott Wahl told the Union-Tribune. ‘Our heart goes out to her and the rest of his family.’
Extreme sports thrill seeker who lives for the inherent risk of jumping
‘We’re unclear as to whether the parachute malfunctioned or if it just didn’t have enough time to open properly and deploy,’ Wahl said. ‘But ultimately this person ended up hitting the ground and dying there.’
The man was an experienced BASE jumper. Not immediately clear is how the ‘thrill seeker’ managed to get to the top of the building, Wahl told KSWB.
‘He had planned to deploy a parachute and survive the jump,’ Wahl said. ‘He’s got a history of doing different types of jumps. Really it’s a tragic event. It’s one that’s absolutely avoidable.’
The apartment building is an estimated 277 feet tall, according to an online database of skyscrapers. The man had on complete BASE-jumping gear at the time, including a parachute and a helmet. His daughter was taken to a hospital for observation, police said.
‘At this point, we believe that his daughter was up on the rooftop with him, and was able to view what happened,’ Wahl told KGTV. ‘As a father of four kids, I can’t imagine the devastation that this family is going through.’
BASE jumping — or parachuting from fixed objects instead of airplanes — stands for Buildings, Antennas, Spans and Earth. People — or dogs — who partake in the extreme sport risk serious injury or death and can face criminal charges if caught in the act.
While jumping from a plane a parachuter is equipped with a main parachute and a back up emergency chute, a base jumper who is leaping from shorter distances to the ground often doesn’t have the time to deploy a second chute.
‘It is a crime to jump off the top of a building like that, for obvious reasons,’ Wahl told KGTV. ‘Being a misdemeanor, it can be a citable offense and it can be a bookable offense.’