US wingsuit diver dies after Swiss crash

2014-04-03 16:59
Wingsuit over the Alps. (Jean-Pierre Clatot, AFP)

Wingsuit over the Alps. (Jean-Pierre Clatot, AFP)

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Geneva - A US wingsuit diver has died after being seriously injured in an accident that claimed the lives of a New Zealander and a French champion last weekend, Swiss police said on Thursday.

The 33-year-old American, who was not identified by name, passed away on Wednesday evening in a hospital, police in the capital Bern said in a statement.

Along with New Zealander Dan Vicary, 33, and French wingsuit icon Ludovic Woerth, 34, the American had jumped from a helicopter over the Luetschental valley near Bern last Saturday.

The trio had planned to land in the valley, but crashed into an Alpine pasture.

Vicary and Woerth were found dead on site when rescuers arrived at the scene, and the American was rushed to a hospital by helicopter.

The investigation into the causes of the accident is ongoing, police said.

Wingsuit divers wear special jumpsuits that add surface area to the human body, enabling them to glide like a bird, before opening a parachute like a regular skydiver.

Some 20 people are killed each year taking part in the extreme sport.

British wingsuit diver and stuntman Mark Sutton - best known for parachuting into the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony dressed as James Bond - died last August when he crashed into a Swiss mountain ridge after jumping from a helicopter.

Read more on:    switzerland  |  aviation
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