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Bridge Day Organizer Defends Self On BASE Jumping death

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posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 01:44 AM
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Bridge Day is a special day in West Virginia. People come from all over the United States, Canada, and many more countries to BASE Jump off of the second highest steel arch bridge in the world, The New River Gorge Bridge. The bridge itself is 876 feet above the New River in Fayette County, West Virginia.
 



wchstv.com
An organizer of BASE jumping at the annual Bridge Day festival is defending the decision to allow a parachutist who died during the event Saturday to jump.

Brian Lee Schubert, 66, of Alta Loma, Calif., died of injuries suffered when he hit the water 876 feet below the New River Gorge Bridge. Authorities believe Schubert's parachute either was deployed too late or only partially opened.

Jump organizer Bill Bird said Monday that Schubert was qualified because he met the event's requirement of 50 parachute jumps. However, the Los Angeles Times reported that Schubert made those jumps in the 1960s. His last BASE jump was in 1966 when he and a friend became the first people to jump from El Capitan, a nearly 3,000-thousand-foot-tall rock formation in California's Yosemite National Park.



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Schubert's death is only the second one to occur at Bridge Day in nineteen years. This most recent fatality is only the third death since Bridge Day started back in October of 1980. The first fatality occurred back in October of 1983. Since then, three more deaths have been recorded. One not taking place on Bridge Day. The thing about this fatality is that the man's previous jump was in 1966 at Yosemite National Park. This should have prevented the man from being allowed to jump. To be able to BASE Jump from the bridge you must have at least 150 skydives before you can jump. This has become more stringent over the years due to the increasing number of jumpers each year.

I know what it's like to travel across that bridge during the spring and summer. One time I went across, there just happened to be about a thirty mile per hour breeze blowing through the gorge. I live thirty five miles from Fayetteville, where the bridge is located. Technically, the park headquarters is located in Lansing, West Virginia, which is located right across the gorge on U.S. 119



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[edit on 24-10-2006 by UM_Gazz]




 
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