Jumper Hurtles into West Virginia River as Chute Fails

October 18, 2011

In front of horrified spectators, a BASE jumper’s chute didn’t fully open during Bridge Day celebration in Fayetteville, hurtling him into the New River at a speed of 60 to 80 mph.

The unidentified jumper was airlifted Saturday to Charleston for medical treatment. He was listed in serious condition.

The Register-Herald of Beckley said the jumper was wearing a wing suit when he jumped from a platform during an 870-foot free fall. His chute barely opened and his hard landing in the river prompted a gasp from spectators.

The jumper was among hundreds of BASE jumpers who participated in Bridge Day. The impact injured about eight other jumpers. They suffered scrapes and back injuries.

BASE parachuting involves jumping from fixed objects, such as bridges or buildings.

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