Man Falls To Death After Unplanned Parachute Move

During a training jump, a sergeant major from the Red Devils perished after performing an “unplanned move,” according to the inquiry.

The 36-year-old skydiver Dean Walton got himself entangled with the lines of his partner, Nimsdai Purja, who informed the coroner that he had to cut off his primary parachute to rescue himself.

During Tuesday’s inquiry in Winchester, Mr. Purja—a Nepalese mountaineer and ex-Special Boat Service trooper—stated that he was unaware that Mr. Walton was planning to perform the canopy-stacking technique.

The inquest heard that Mr. Walton and Mr. Purja, who had met for the first time a week before the tragedy, had been practicing these stunts by jumping 12 to 14 times daily. The coroner concluded that Walton’s parachute was a “high-performance parachute” while Mr. Purja’s was a standard deployment. Given that Dean’s parachute traveled much faster, it would be out of sync when it got close to Mr. Purja’s parachute.

Footage from a GoPro camera that Mr. Walton wore caught when his parachute lost lift and dropped.

At an altitude of about 3,000 feet, Walton descended into Mr. Purja’s parachute, and their world went into a tailspin.

According to Mr. Purja’s statement to the coroner, he patiently waited for Mr. Walton to free himself from his primary canopy before severing it and setting up his backup parachute. Mr. Walton had a fatal crash landing due to his rapid descent.

“I waited maybe around three seconds – but it seems like forever because we are falling at such speed,” Mr. Purja told Jason Pegg, Hampshire’s coroner.
According to Victor Grande, a skydiving instructor at Seville’s Aerodrome la Juliana, Mr. Purja’s canopy collapsed because Dean was trying to fly on top of it.

Sgt. Walton “probably wanted to show off,” according to Mr. Purja, a renowned climber who has climbed all fourteen of the world’s highest summits.

“The harsh truth is he should never come and stand on my canopy,” he told the court.

According to the investigation, Spanish authorities discovered Mr. Purja “on his knees wailing” when he safely landed; he had served with the Gurkhas and the Special Boat Service.