Utah BASE jumper reported dead in Italy
A renowned Moab BASE jumper reportedly has died during a wingsuit accident in Italy's Dolomites region.
Mario Richard, 47, died on Monday while climbing and jumping with his wife, Steph Davis, near Arco, Italy, according to both the Climbing.com and RockandIce.com websites. The death also was reported, citing family and friends as sources, by the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera.
Italian news media reported that Richard hit a cliff wall minutes after his wife had successfully completed her own jump.
Richard reportedly jumped from the nearly 9,700-foot high Pordoi, in the Sella Group of the Dolomites. His body was found 450 feet down.
Messages left for both Davis and Moab BASE Adventures, the organization Richard was affiliated with, were not immediately returned on Tuesday.
In an autobiography on the Moab BASE website, Richard said his first BASE jump was in 1991 when he jumped from West Virginia's 875-foot-high New River Gorge bridge.
"I was hooked on this type of jumping. Returning home after that, I ordered my first BASE gear and started to jump everything that was high or low enough around," he recalled.
While Davis could not be reached directly, her Facebook page including photos of Richard taken hours before the apparent accident was filled with condolence messages on Tuesday.
As for calls to Moab BASE Adventures, they went to an automated message recorded by Richard.