Mario Richard, a leader in the extreme sport of BASE jumping, died on Monday while wingsuit flying in the Dolomites in Italy. He was 47.
Details of the accident were unclear Tuesday morning, he was wingsuit flying off Sass Pordoi when the accident occurred.
Richard, a native of Quebec, began sky diving in 1988 and did his first BASE jump in 1991, during Bridge Day at New River Gorge. He estimated last year that he had performed 7,000 sky dives and 2,000 BASE jumps, and had never had so much as a sprained ankle.
He jumped from the rim above the Kingfisher in Utah’s Fisher Towers, landed on Kingfisher, repacked his chute and jumped the Kingfisher. He once parachuted from an airplane, landed atop Castleton Tower, repacked and jumped again. Richard was a master of canopy flying, and was well known and loved among the climbing and BASE jumping communities.
He was quick to admit that his business and his passion were dangerous.
“But I’ve got very good reasons to come home at the end of the day,” he said.
Richard moved to Moab in 2007 and soon met Davis. They married in 2011, atop majestic Parriott Mesa outside Moab, and celebrated by running and leaping off the mesa and gliding to earth with parachutes.
“It’s a simple device,” Richard said last year of the little-considered parachute, something he spent years building and designing earlier in his career. “And it makes us do extraordinary things.”