Extreme sports star killed in California skydiving accident

Extreme sports star killed in California skydiving accident

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A skier & BASE jumper who regularly appeared on an MTV show approximately extreme sports was killed while skydiving Northern California, authorities said.

Erik Roner, of Tahoe City, died Monday during a skydiving accident at a golf course in Squaw Valley, approximately 5 miles from Lake Tahoe's northwest shore, said Placer County Sheriff's Capt. Dennis Walsh.

"Erik was a attractive man, tremendous father, wonderful friend & the love of my life," his wife, Annika Roner, said in a statement.

p>Witnesses told deputies Roner, 39, was part of a group conducting a skydiving performance before a golf tournament when he hit a tree while trying to land & became entangled high above ground, Walsh said.

Authorities were not able to remove him from the tree, & 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.

Roner's death comes four months after world-famous wingsuit flyer Dean Potter & fellow adventurer Graham Hunt fatally crashed after the pair leaped from Taft Point, 3,500 feet above Yosemite Valley, attempting to clear a V-shaped notch in a ridgeline.

Roner, a professional skier & avid BASE jumper, was known for being part of "Nitro Circus," an MTV show centered around freestyle motocross rider Travis Pastrana & his crew of extreme sports athlete friends. He moreover hosted the TV show "Locals" on sports network Outside Television.

"Nitro Circus" ended in 2009 after two seasons. "Nitro Circus Live," where Roner moreover appeared, aired on MTV2 for four seasons until last year, MTV spokeswoman Jennifer Solari said.

"Action sports icon Erik Roner, legendary skier, BASE jumper & a founding member of the Nitro Circus Crew has passed away this morning doing what he loved; sky diving," Roner's manager, Travis Clarke, said.

Roy Tuscany, a friend of Roner who witnessed the accident, said he watched as two other parachutists landed safely on the golf course's fairway for the ninth hole yet then looked on in horror when Roner slammed complex into a tree approximately 25 to 30 feet above the ground.

He said Roner's parachute received caught in the tree & Roner dangled there while many on the ground scrambled to find ladders & other means to obtain to him. At one point, several people attempted to stand on one another's shoulders to reach him.

"There's no protocol for this kind of rescue," Tuscany said. "There's no manual. It was just horrible."

Tuscany said Roner was "hilarious" & was a "stand-up guy" who could always be counted on to assist with benefit events like the golf tournament. The tournament is sponsored by the Squaw Valley Institute, a nonprofit organization that describes itself as being "dedicated to presenting enriching & inspirational programs to the Lake Tahoe region."

"We are still trying to process this tragedy," said Rob Faris, a senior vice president at Outside Television. "Our hearts go out to his family."

Roner is survived by his wife & two children.


Associated Press writer Olga R. Rodriguez contributed to this report.

Source: “Associated Press”