Marine Dies on Vacation Wife Won on Ellen
Brandon McGraw dead in Australian skydiving accident
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2013 10:22 AM CST
Ellen DeGeneres attends the Ellen DeGeneres officially launches the Duracell "Power a Smile" Program, on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – A Marine and his wife were in Australia last week on a trip they won on Ellen DeGeneres' show in January, but it ended in tragedy when the Marine was killed in a skydiving accident. Cherilyn McGraw made a tandem jump in Euroa, north of Melbourne, on Saturday, but husband Brandon had skydiving experience and jumped solo, the Daily News reports. Something went wrong with his parachute 300 feet from the ground, causing him to twist and turn and ultimately crash; he went into cardiac arrest and died at the scene. An employee of Euroa Skydive says Brandon had more than "a few jumps under his belt," as well as training and documentation, and that most of his jump went flawlessly. Australian media have cited high winds as a possible factor.

McGraw, 33, had recently come back from a deployment in Afghanistan, and was also an Iraq war veteran, the New York Daily News reports. His wife, a special education teacher in their home state of North Carolina, won the trip by competing in a "Stuff Your Down Under Pants" contest on Ellen, managing to stuff the most balls into a large pair of pants. McGraw's Facebook page shows he was a fan of extreme sports including skydiving, and a Marine Corps captain confirms to confirms to WCTI that McGraw was highly trained. Following his death, Cherilyn posted pictures to Facebook taken moments before her husband's jump, saying he "was happy and doing what he loved" when he died.

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Dec 23, 2013 2:45 PM CST
Blame this death on Ellen Degenerate , not on Obama :>) !.
Dec 20, 2013 12:46 PM CST
I watch the Ellen n TV every afternoon and I really enjoy her variety of guests but, I get miffed from time to time whenever she goes off on a tangent about a LGBT subject. I think she's a good representation of her lifestyle but, I wonder if she's got a recruitment issue going with a variety cover. We all know the gay community virtually rules the entertainment industry from Broadway to Hollywood. We're starting to see frontal nudity, a plethora of curse words, dirty dancing then watching the same industry that is causing the problems passing judgement on wether or not its acceptable. I take issue with my constitutional right for freedom of speech but, today I see where Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty has been removed from A&E's programming for saying something disagreeable to LGBT. Now, I may not agree with everything he says or with everything Ellen says but I'll defend, to the death, their right to say it. Lets all get together and decide what's right for you may not be right for me. OK, I'm fine with that. I won't penalize you in anyway for being who you are and what your beliefs are. Lighten up people. Aren't we all a bit tired of Gay bashing and Heterosexual trashing? The world used to be a lot of fun till all these so called "Goody two shoes" stepped in and fucked it all up.
Dec 20, 2013 7:55 AM CST
Ellen is a strange name for a Dude??