The Utah man behind a popular YouTube science channel was killed in a paragliding crash late Monday near Hurricane.
The pilot, 38-year-old Jonathan Grant Thompson of South Jordan, died in a remote area of Washington County in southern Utah. A news release from the sheriff’s office there said the cause of the accident is under investigation.
The county’s dispatch center had received a report of an overdue paraglider who had taken off in the morning near Sand Hollow State Park, the news release said. Police from Hurricane and an agent from the Bureau of Land Management responded. The caller was able to provide the paraglider’s last known GPS coordinates.
A medical helicopter was able to follow those and discovered Thompson’s body. The news release said the search team also recovered the crashed paraglider and video taken during its flight — and said no foul play was suspected.
Thompson was known on YouTube as “The King of Random.” His channel included videos with explosions or fire, as well as guides to making a rope out of a soda bottle, making a silicone mold of a chicken and making steak with “molten salt.” His most popular clip, with more than 34 million views, showed how to make gummy candy in the shape of Legos.
Many have taken to his page to express their sadness over his death. “Such a shame we don’t get videos like these anymore,” one user wrote. Another posted: “RIP, you’ll be greatly missed. My condolences to the family.”
“Rest in peace brother. The world will never be the same without you,” said one person. Many said the same: “Legends never die.”
Thompson’s channel boasts hundreds of videos of his experiments and 11 million subscribers. He had been making videos and putting them on YouTube since 2010. In May 2018, he was agreed to make safety videos after a plea deal resolved allegations that he had improperly used an explosive device in his backyard.
His YouTube biography said: “We make videos dedicated to exploring life through all kinds of life hacks, experiments, and random weekend projects.”
His channel posted an “in memoriam” video of Thompson late Tuesday. And YouTube’s Twitter page wrote that the company was “deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss.”