Flagstaff, AZ — Thirty seven-year old Eiliv Ruud of Foss Fallskjeriy, Norway died Tuesday
while base jumping at the Salt Trail Canyon, a tributary of the Little Colorado River east of Grand Canyon National Park. Investigators believe the victim began his base jump from a height of approximately one thousand feet above the canyon floor.
According to witnesses it appeared the base jumper traveled approximately 500 feet or about half the total distance when a gust of wind blew him into the canyon wall.
On Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm Coconino County Sheriff’s emergency dispatchers
received a call from the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety advising of the accident. Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies, Coconino County Search and Rescue Personnel, National Park Service personnel and Guardian Medical Transport were sent to the area.
The first deputy to arrive spoke with two Norway citizens.According to the adult male and female, they traveled with the victim from Norway for the express purpose of base jumping at the Salt Trail Canyon location. The victim’s two companions said that they were standing with him at the edge of the canyon where all three planned to jump.
The victim was the first to jump to the canyon floor from a height estimated to be approximately 1000 feet. The witnesses reported that the victim fell approximately 500 feet when a gust of wind appeared to blow him into the canyon wall. At this point, the witnesses saw one of the victim’s parachutes deploy however it failed to function properly. It appeared that he was spiraling out of control. The witnesses heard the sound of what they believed to be the victim striking the canyon floor.
Guardian Medical Transport helicopter personnel flew into the canyon and landed about 500 feet below where the base jumper came to rest. Crew members hiked to the victim’s location and confirmed that he was deceased. Due to impending nightfall a body recovery was not attempted at that time.
Yesterday the victim’s body was recovered by a National Park Service Air Rescue Helicopter and flown to Desert View Visitor Center parking lot. The victim’s body was then transported by ground to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office where the investigation will be continued.
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