SAN FRANCISCO, CA – An extreme sports star skydiving for the opening ceremony of a golf event in Northern California died when he struck a tree, authorities said.
Placer County sheriff’s Captain Dennis Walsh said Erik Roner, of Tahoe City, died during a skydiving accident at a golf course in Squaw Valley, about 8 kilometres from Lake Tahoe’s northwest shore.
Witnesses told deputies that Roner, 39, was part of a group conducting a skydiving performance before a golf tournament when he hit a tree while trying to land and became entangled high above ground, Walsh said.
Authorities were not able to remove him from the tree, and Roner was pronounced dead at the scene.
The other skydivers landed safely on the golf course in Squaw Valley, home of the ski resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics.
Walsh said the investigation was continuing and the Federal Aviation Administration was notified.
Roner, a professional skier and avid BASE jumper, 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. He also hosted the TV show “Locals” on sports network Outside Television.
Roner’s death comes four months after world-famous wingsuit flyer Dean Potter and fellow adventurer Graham Hunt fatally crashed after the pair leaped from Taft Point, 1,000 metres above Yosemite Valley, attempting to clear a V-shaped notch in a ridgeline.
Roner is survived by his wife and two children, according to the Squaw Valley Institute.