A British Army sergeant with the “Red Devils” parachute display team tragically plunged 3,500 feet to his death during a training exercise in Spain on Friday, the New York Post reported.
The parachute belonging to Sgt. Dean Walton somehow got entangled in another jumper’s chute, causing his canopy to collapse, the Post reported.
Once Walton, who has over 2,000 jumps to his name, landed, paramedics were on scene to do everything they could to save him, but he was pronounced dead on site, Silver Screen Beat reported.
Nimsdai Purja, 39, a former Special Boat Service trooper and the jumper who collided with Walton in mid-air, posted about the incident on Facebook, according to News Australia.
“Dean and I were conducting canopy handling and stacking drills. We left the aircraft at 15,000ft and were under good canopies by 3,500ft. Dean approached and was positioned at 45 degrees directly behind and above,” he wrote. “This required deep brakes to stay in position and it is thought due to this Dean’s canopy stalled and collapsed, sending him through my canopy and entangling him within my lines. This sent us both into a severe spin and increased our fall rate dramatically. At this point I had no option but to cut away and pull my reserve.”
“I am devastated at the loss of Dean, who was super talented and loved what he did,” he added.
Walton spent at least 17 years as a member of the British Army, where he was deployed to Afghanistan four times, the New York Post reported.
He is survived by his wife, Shelby Walton, and their 1-year-old daughter, Stella, according to SNBC13.