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Man dies after BASE jumping accident in University City

SDPD says man’s daughter witnessed the tragedy
Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 21:01:07-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A 48-year-old man jumped to his death during a parachuting accident in University City Tuesday night.

San Diego Police say the man, was attempting to BASE jump from the 23-story Palisade UTC luxury apartment complex, near the UTC mall at 8800 Lombard Pl.

RELATED: Parachuter dies after falling 15 stories from condo building near Westfield UTC

"What it appears to be at this point, is we have a thrill seeker that was trying to jump off the top floor of the Palisade Apartment building, we’re unclear as to whether the parachute malfunctioned or if it just didn’t have enough time to open up properly and deploy, but ultimately this person ended up hitting the ground and dying there," said SDPD Capt. Scott Wahl.

The victim’s name has not been publicly released, but police say he was wearing full BASE jumping gear, including a helmet.

Police believe his 16-year-old daughter witnessed the tragic fall.

“At this point, we believe that his daughter was up on the rooftop with him, and was able to view what happened,” said Wahl. “Not only do we have a life lost, but we also have one that’s devastated because his daughter was there watching. As a father of four kids, I can’t imagine the devastation that this family is going through.”

Police said the teenager was taken to the hospital to be checked on. Wahl said it appears she was only observing and not planning on participating in the BASE jumping.

“Our hearts go out, obviously to his daughter, and to the rest of his family,” said Wahl.

Expert skydivers tell ABC 10News that BASE jumping can be extremely dangerous because there’s sometimes not enough distance or time to problem solve if something does go wrong.

BASE is an acronym for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth. These are fixed spaces people may jump from during the thrill-seeking sport.

Over the years, there have been several BASE jumping incidents in San Diego.

In 2018, a man jumped from an East Village high-rise, and successfully parachuted through the East Village but was greeted with handcuffs when he landed. He spoke with ABC 10News at the time, saying there was a large police response. He was given a citation for trespassing.

Wahl said base jumping could lead to misdemeanor charges. Police hope to deter people from doing it, to prevent tragedies like the one in University City.

“It is a crime to jump off the top of a building like that for obvious safety reasons,” said Wahl. “Being a misdemeanor, it can be a citable offense, and it can be a bookable offense.”

Charges like trespassing or disorderly conduct can come from BASE jumping incidents.