BASE Jumper Dies After Setting Parachute On Fire For Stunt

A 73-year-old BASE jumper has been killed after leaping from a bridge with his parachute lit on fire as part of an elaborate stunt that was to take place over the Snake River.

James E. Hickey died in the stunt, which took place on May 7, according to the Daily Mail. Jumping from the Perrine Bridge, which towers 500 feet over the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho, the retired accountant planned to set his parachute on fire, before discarding it and deploying a second safety chute. Video of the fatal jump made its way to YouTube on Monday and depicts Hickey engulfed in flames as he jumps from the bridge.

In the video, which you can view here, Hickey can be seen jumping along with another person, but while the second individual manages to deploy their parachute and glide safely away, Hickey is overcome by the flames and falls out of view into the river below. The clip ends shortly after Hickey’s burning body strikes the river, inflicting the blunt force trauma that was listed by the coroner as his cause of death.

Though the stunt seems implausible, professional BASE jumper Sean Chuma asserted that he had heard Hickey successfully completed it while skydiving in the past. An experienced BASE jumper, Hickey had taken part in over 1,000 previous jumps, according to his friend Tom Aiello, who operates a BASE jumping school in Twin Falls.

Over the weekend, another BASE jumping tragedy took place, when famed climber Dean Potter, 43, and his partner Graham Hunt, 29, were killed in Yosemite Park. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the duo had jumped illegally from a cliff and were flying in wingsuits when they struck a rock wall, fatally injuring both men.

While illegal in many locations, BASE jumping is allowed year-round at the Perrine Bridge, as USA Today reports. The acronym stands for building, antenna, span and earth, a list of the places from which BASE jumpers leap. The sport is inherently dangerous and multiple injuries are reported each year from the Perrine Bridge alone, where hundreds of people jump. Hickey is not the first person to be killed this year at the bridge, as 32-year-old Vancouver, British Columbia resident Bryan Turner died while BASE jumping on March 7 after his parachute failed to properly open.

[Image via Wikipedia]