James Hickey, 73, died after leaping off a bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho, during a BASE jumping stunt on May 7.
Hickey planned to jump from the bridge while a second person lit his parachute on fire. The plan was that he would then disconnect from the chute, and use a second parachute to float down safely.
After his first parachute was lit on fire, Hickey was quickly engulfed in flames and plunged nearly 500 feet down to the Snake River (video below).
The Associated Press reports that a boat quickly arrived to help Hickey, but an autopsy report said he died of a blunt force trauma, likely from the landing impact.
"It’s my understanding that he was performing a stunt,” Capt. Brent Hilliard, of the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office, told the Times-News.
“The case is still with investigators,” Hilliard said. “There is nothing to indicate any foul play or criminal activity.”
Sean Chuma, a professional BASE jumper from the area, said his understanding was that Hickey was experienced and had previously performed the stunt. BASE jumping ivolves jumping from high buildings, antennas, spans or from Earth's features, such as cliffs.