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Guy in Wingsuit Hits Cliff Wall, Dies

BASE jumper died in Arizona
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2016 12:23 PM CST
Guy in Wingsuit Hits Cliff Wall, Dies
An area of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness in Marble Canyon, Ariz., where a California man died while wingsuit flying among the remote cliffs on the Arizona-Utah border, authorities said.   (Arizona Department of Public Safety via AP)

(Newser) – A BASE jumper was killed Tuesday while "flying" in a wingsuit near Page, Ariz., the Arizona Star reports. Matthew Kenney, a 29-year-old from Santa Cruz, Calif., was an experienced jumper and was with friends in the remote Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness area near the Utah border. Kenney hit a wall after jumping, but investigators aren't sure exactly what happened, the AP reports.

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Icy conditions at the top of the steep canyon walls kept responders from recovering Kenney's body Tuesday, and the local sheriff's office said Wednesday that it was coming up with a plan for recovery; Kenney's body is trapped in a crevice around 600 feet below where he jumped. Nearly 200 BASE jumpers were reportedly killed between 1981 and 2012, including 50 in wingsuits, and the sport is banned in some areas. Kenney was jumping legally. In early 2015, Kenney was interviewed by a Phoenix TV station and insisted BASE jumping, "if practiced properly, is pretty safe and pretty cool and pretty fun." (Read more base jumping stories.)

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