A twenty-seven-year-old skydiver was killed following a skydiving mishap on Monday. Aime-Jean St. Hilaire Adam, who was from Calgary, was participating in the Wide Open Wingsuit Series when he collided mid-air with another jumper.
St. Hilaire Adam was attempting his last wingsuit jump of the day during the three-day competition when he and another skydiver slammed into each other. The impact rendered Mr. St. Hilaire Adam unconscious and sent him into a hard landing on the rooftop of a house located near the Perris Valley drop zone. When he was discovered by officials, it was evident that his parachute had deployed however, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Skydive Perris’ Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld, the accident occurred in the last event of the day and he said that “It's terrible, everyone is really devastated.”
Mr. Chenfeld indicated he did not know the young Canadian skydiver well but that those who were familiar with him within the skydive community indicated he was well-loved and respected for his skydive abilities.
Mr. Chenfeld further indicated that authorities were investigating the functionality of St. Hilaire Adam’s gear but it appeared to be working properly. He also mentioned that it is not uncommon for wingsuit skydivers to have contact following their exit from the plane and had there been even the smallest difference in exit times, the outcome may have been dramatically different.
He went on to say, “It's one of those things where if the guys had been a foot (apart) one way or the other, they would have completely missed each other.”
The skydiver with whom St. Hilaire Adam collide injured his leg as a result but is otherwise ok.
Mr. Chenfeld said this is the first accident at this DZ that has resulted in a fatality in over half a million jumps. He said that the risk of skydiving is inherent and although the public may assume skydivers are reckless, that they take every precaution to execute safe and effective jumps.
Mr. St. Hilaire Adam’s family has said they are attempting to deal with the loss but that it has been devastating, to say the least. They indicated that he had always had a fondness for actively pushing boundaries and living life to the fullest.
A cousin said that “Ever since he was young, he always needed adrenaline: snowboarding, surfing.” She also mentioned that her cousin will remain a legend to his family and that, ”He was someone exceptional who left us in circumstances where he was practicing his passion," and that she believed he wouldn't have had any regrets about skydiving and following his dreams.