Kirk Jones was known as Niagara Falls’ daredevil, who made headlines in 2003 after jumping into the body of water without protection. But on his second attempt to jump into the falls with only an inflatable ball, Jones died.
The daredevil should’ve decided not to jump into Niagara Falls again after the first time he did the death-defying stunt. He was the first person to survive the plunge on Oct. 20, 2003, but two weeks ago, on June 2, his dead body was found down the river, two miles from the falls. Police said that Jones had jumped again for another stunt on April 19, Syracuse reported.
Jones’ second-time stunt failed, resulting in his death. New York State Police’s Det. Sgt. Brian Nisbet said that authorities have spotted a 10-foot ball, big enough for a person to fit in. The Maid of the Mist boat recovered the ball, which appeared to be unmanned.
Jones “may have been attempting a stunt by going over Niagara Falls in a large inflatable ball,” according to Nisbet.
It remains to be seen why the Niagara Falls daredevil went for a second plunge when he previously declared he wouldn’t do the deed again. He was a resident of Michigan when he planned to do the stunt in 2003.
At that time, Jones’ family told reporters that the then-40-year-0ld wanted to perform the illegal plunge as a daredevil stunt, but in a phone interview with ABC News in 2003, Jones said he did it out of depression. He said he wanted to commit suicide but because he’d survived the fall, it made him realize that he wanted to go on and live. As a result, Kirk suffered a bruised spine and broken ribs.
“I honestly thought that it wasn’t worth going on. But I can tell you now, after hitting the falls, I feel that life is worth living.”
What was initially a suicide attempt turned into a source of fame. Soon after his Niagara Falls’ plunge, Jones got a job as a stunt performer in a circus based in Florida. However, he was also charged for performing the illegal stunt and for mischief as soon as he got out of the hospital. Jones was fined almost $3,000 and was banned from Canada for life.
He was reportedly set to publish a book about his adventure and a guide on how to survive a daredevil’s jump into Niagara Falls with his brother, Keith. It had a working title of You’re Kidding Me: A Knucklehead’s Guide to Surviving Niagara Falls, but as Syracuse reported, there was no evidence that the book made it to the shelves.
[Featured Image by David Duprey/AP Images]