BASE Jumper's Fiery Stunt Ends Fatally

James Hickey set fire to parachute, engulfed in flames
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2015 12:13 PM CDT
BASE Jumper's Fiery Stunt Ends Fatally
A BASE jumper hangs from her parachute on supports of the Perrine Bridge on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Twin Falls, Idaho. Days earlier a man plunged to his death after setting his chute on fire.   (Stephen Reiss/The Times-News via AP)

It's not exactly an auspicious time to be a BASE jumper: A 73-year-old man plunged to his death earlier this month after jumping from Idaho's Perrine Bridge, and the Twin Falls Times-News now reports that James Hickey had set his own parachute on fire as part of a stunt that went wildly wrong. The idea was to dump the flaming chute and coast to safety on a second one, but the AP notes that video of Hickey's jump shows him immediately engulfed in flames as he falls 500 feet into the Snake River. Another jumper landed safely.

The video of Hickey's death was initially posted to YouTube, notes the Times-News, but was taken down after complaints. "We have removed," wrote the man who posted it. "It was never our intention to hurt anyone. I underestimated the power of YouTube." If jumping off a bridge sounds dangerous, the AP notes that it is: Hundreds make the jump every year, and "injuries are common." Just days after Hickey's death, a woman BASE jumper had to be rescued after her parachute got hung up on the bridge's supports, while back in March, a man died after his chute failed to open correctly. (Read more base jump stories.)

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