COCONINO COUNTY, ARIZONA — A Californian BASE jumper died Tuesday while wingsuit-flying among cliffs on the Arizona-Utah border, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The body of Matthew Kenney, an experienced BASE jumper, is trapped in a crevice about 600 feet below where he jumped in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Lieutenant Bret Axlund of the Coconino County Sheriff's Office said in a press conference cited in the Los Angeles Times report.
Authorities said Kenney hit the side of the mountain, but it's unclear how this happened, reported Fox News. Axlund said it appeared that Kenney was trying to clear a notch, an indentation in the mountains, but did not have enough elevation to do so.
A helicopter was unable to land and retrieve the body due to patches of ice and steep terrain on top of the canyon, said Axlund. Kenney's death is the first attributed to BASE jumping in the Paria Canyon, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Matt Frohlich, a close friend of Kenney's, told Fox News that Kenney was an experienced and talented jumper who'd traveled around the world.
"It's a pretty big hit to the community," Frohlich said to Fox News. "It is sad."
Kenny had reportedly performed 1,000 jumps prior to the incident on Tuesday, Axlund said.