US-based Canadian mountain jumper dies in Italy

ROME (AP) — A Canadian extreme sportsman died during a parachute jump in Italy’s Dolomite mountains after he crashed between two rock towers, Italian rescuers said Wednesday.

Mario Richard, 47, was jumping from a 1,000-meter (3,300-foot) peak in the Val di Fossa near Bolzano on Monday when he apparently failed to clear a rock by three meters, said Gino Comelli, of the Alpine rescue service in Val di Fassa who was one of the rescuers at the scene.

“There are two mountain walls connected by a rock. Richard arrived three meters too low, on this rock. Then, he rolled over in a canal,” Comelli told The Associated Press.

Richard was jumping with a group of Italians and Canadians, wearing a webbed wingsuit designed to provide extra lift for flight. He had already done three successful jumps from the same peak the previous day, Comelli said.

Richard lived in Utah, where he helped run Moab B.A.S.E. Adventures. B.A.S.E. stands for Building, Antenna, Span, Earth — the different platforms used by jumpers.

His remains were being held in the nearby town of Canazei, pending cremation and repatriation to the United States, according to Rita Marchetti from Canazei’s city hall.

Richard is the second well-known jumper to die in a week. Mark Sutton, the skydiver who parachuted into London’s Olympic Stadium during the opening of London’s 2012 Games, died Aug. 14 in Switzerland when he crashed into a rocky ridge.

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