Erik Roner: Extreme Sports Star dies in freak skydiving accident

Updated: September 30, 2015
Erik Roner: Extreme Sports Star dies in freak skydiving accident

Erik Roner, the extreme sports athlete and TV personality, died in a parachuting accident in Squaw Valley, Calif., on Monday, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to EW. He was 39.

Erik Roner of Tahoe City was part of a group carrying out a show at the charity event at a golf course in Squaw Valley, home to the ski resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics.

The 39-year-old was trying to land when he hit the tree and became entangled high above the ground.

The professional skier and avid BASE jumper was pronounced dead at the scene.

Roy Tuscany, a friend of Roner’s who was at the scene, told of how he watched as two other parachutists landed safely before Roner hit the tree about 25 to 30 feet above the ground.

He described seeing his friend “dangling” with his parachute caught in the tree and others scrambling to find ladders to try to reach him. At one point, several people tried to stand on one another’s shoulders to reach him.

“There’s no protocol for this kind of rescue,” Mr Tuscany said. “There’s no manual. It was just horrible.”

An investigation is under way to find out what exactly happened.

Roner’s wife Annika said in a statement: “Erik was a beautiful man, great father, wonderful friend and the love of my life.”

The father of two was known for being part of “Nitro Circus,” an MTV show centred around freestyle motocross rider Travis Pastrana and his crew of extreme sports athlete friends.

MTV spokeswoman Jennifer Solari said: “Erik was an amazing person who made everyone and everything around him better,” Pastrana said.

Roner’s death comes four months after world-famous wingsuit flyer Dean Potter and fellow adventurer Graham Hunt died after they leaped from Taft Point, 3,500 feet above Yosemite Valley, trying to clear a V-shaped notch in a ridgeline.