A beloved member of the extreme sports community who helped pioneer the sport of ski-BASE jumping has died in a parachuting accident as part of a Squaw Valley golf tournament. 

Erik Roner was one of three skydivers who planned to greet on Monday the opening day of the Fourth Annual Squaw Valley Institute Celebrity Golf Tournament. But Roner apparently misjudged the landing zone and struck a tree on impact, according to a report by Powder Magazine. Two other divers who landed safely looked on in horror as Roner slammed into the tree.

Witnesses reported that he remained hung up in the tree for roughly 30 minutes. Onlookers tried their best to reach the injured skydiver with ladders and other methods. At one point they tried standing on each other’s shoulders. Roner’s friend, Roy Tuscany, told The Blade it was a terrible scene to witness.

“There’s no protocol for this kind of rescue,” Tuscany said. “There’s no manual. It was just horrible.”

Rescue workers were finally able to bring him down, but the father of two was pronounced dead at a local hospital. 

The news comes as an obvious shock to the community of dare devils that have embraced Roner as one of their own. After earning a reputation for skiing off cliffs with a parachute in hand, an insane new sport enthusiasts called ski-BASE jumping, Roner was invited in 2005 to be a part of Nitro Circus. The MTV show and travelling road show featuring freestyle motocross and high flying action of all kinds led by Travis Pastrana propelled Roner’s career. 

His friend described the thrill seeker as having a good sense of humor and always willing to help out, such as skydiving for a local charity event. He will be dearly missed.

Photo credit: Dreamstime