Cops say daughter sees dad die in botched base jump in San Diego
A father fell to his death skydiving from a high-rise building in San Diego when his teenage daughter witnessed the horrific accident, police said.
The 48-year-old man, whose name was not released, died late Tuesday in a failed BASE jump from the 23-story Palisade UTC apartment building in the University City neighborhood, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Police responded after a caller reported hearing a loud bang. The witness then stepped onto a balcony and discovered the victim bleeding on the floor below, the newspaper reported.
The man, whose 16-year-old daughter witnessed his tragic jump, was pronounced dead at the scene, police officers said.
“It’s not just one life lost, it’s another that’s completely devastated,” San Diego Police Captain Scott Wahl told the Union-Tribune. “Our hearts go out to her and the rest of his family.”
The “thrill-seeker” jumped from the top floor of the upscale apartment building, Wahl told KGTV.
“It’s unclear to us if the parachute malfunctioned or if it just didn’t have enough time to open and deploy properly,” Wahl said. “But ultimately this person ended up on the ground and died there.”
The man was an experienced BASE jumper. It was unclear how he got the building, Wahl told KSWB.
“He had planned to deploy a parachute and survive the jump,” Wahl said. “He has a history of doing different types of jumps. It is truly a tragic event. It is one that is absolutely avoidable.”
According to an online database of skyscrapers, the apartment building is estimated to be 277 feet tall. The man was wearing full BASE jumping gear at the time, including a parachute and helmet. His daughter was taken to a hospital for observation, police said.
“At this point we believe his daughter was on the roof with him and was able to see what happened,” Wahl told KGTV. “As a father of four, I can’t imagine the devastation this family is going through.”
BASE jumping—or parachuting from solid objects instead of airplanes—stands for Buildings, Antennas, Spans, and Earth. People – or dogs – who participate in extreme sports risk serious injury or death and can be prosecuted if caught red-handed.
“It is a crime to jump from the top of a building like this for obvious reasons,” Wahl told KGTV. “Because it’s a misdemeanor, it can be a citable offense and a bookable offense.”
A message requesting additional comment from San Diego Police Department was not immediately returned Thursday.