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BASE Jump Off a Tourist High-Rise Ends in Tragedy

31-year-old Timothy Ackerman dies after leaping off condo complex in Panama City Beach
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2021 8:09 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Florida man who tried to BASE jump from a high-rise condo complex died over the weekend after his parachute apparently didn't open, and local authorities have now identified him. Per a release from the Panama City Beach Police Department cited by the Panama City News Herald, deputies found the body of 31-year-old resident Timothy Dale Ackerman at around 6:45pm Sunday in front of the Sunrise Beach Resort. It's not clear what floor Ackerman leaped from—the release says it may have been the 23rd floor, but police previously told WKMG it was the 14th floor. In the incident report, a witness who was cruising by on a motorcycle says he spotted Ackerman plummeting "from about halfway" up the 23-story building. What is clear is that the parachute attached to Ackerman, said to have been an experienced jumper, doesn't seem to have deployed.

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WMBB reports that witnesses remain shaken. "He had landed kind of in the ditch," Brianna Stevens, who was at a nearby restaurant when the dad of two jumped, tells the outlet. "I don't want to describe him, it was not a very pleasant scene." The outlet reports that police in Panama City Beach are "no stranger" to BASE jumping incidents, which Stevens backs up. "Every year somebody attempts this, whether it be a local or a spring breaker, usually spring breakers, and every year somebody is lost because of it," she notes. Meanwhile, authorities are now issuing a warning to others who might have the same idea. "The Panama City Beach Police Department would like to remind everyone it is against the law to trespass and there is no legal place in Florida that allows BASE jumping," the agency notes in its release. (Read more BASE jumping stories.)

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