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Shane McConkey, legendary extreme skier, dies in base-jumping accident

March 27, 2009 |  2:15 pm


Legendary extreme skier and base jumper Shane McConkey died yesterday in an accident while filming a movie in Italy.

McConkey, 39, was performing a stunt in which he was to launch himself off of a cliff, then detach his skis and deploy a parachute.

Witnesses said McConkey was not able to get one of his skis off, which sent him spinning out of control and prevented him from deploying the chute.  McConkey died on impact.

"He did a double backflip off the jump and he has these releasable bindings. But one ski did not come off. When that happens the drag on the skis causes you to flip over so the skis go over your head. He got into a bad spin and may have never even pulled his pilot chute," filmmaker and McConkey family friend Scott Gaffney told ESPN Action Sports during a telephone interview.

The Lake Tahoe-area resident is survived by his wife, Sherry, and their 3-year-old daughter. 

--Kelly Burgess

In this photo provided by Red Bull, Shane McConkey is photographed in Milford Sound, New Zealand.

Photos courtesy of Red Bull