Mark Sutton, London Olympics Stuntman, Dies In Wing-Diving Accident
Stuntman Mark Sutton, who famously jumped out of a helicopter as James Bond in the London Olympics Opening Ceremony, died on Wednesday in a wing-diving accident.
His performance at the Olympics was a crowd favorite – he doubled as Daniel Craig jumping out of a helicopter alongside another stuntman playing Queen Elizabeth II.
“Such sad news about the wonderful Mark Sutton. As one of the world’s top skydivers and stuntmen, his death is a huge loss to his profession. In a brilliant partnership with Gary Connery they made the stadium gasp at the Opening Ceremony in London 2012 and left indelible memories for people from all walks of life all over the world,” said Danny Boyle, who directed the Opening Ceremony, on Thursday.
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Sutton, a lover of extreme sports including skydiving and wing-diving, was in the Swiss Alps with other wing-divers when he fell to his death. Wing-diving involves the participants to wear a special suit with wings so that they can glide as they fall down. The jumpers usually land using a parachute, and it is unclear whether or not Sutton was able to deploy his before his death.
Sutton jumped out of a helicopter at 10,800 feet and crashed into a mountain ridge. He was reportedly filming a segment for an extreme sports channel, EpicTV, with fellow jumper Tony Uragallo as part of an extreme sports event, Helibase 74. The two were each wearing three cameras, and footage of the tragic accident has been given to Swiss officials according to the Mirror.
“[Mark Sutton and Tony Urgallo] were filming each other and Tony had Mark in view and then lost him. It is not know why. He had not yet deployed his parachute,” said an EpicTV spokesman.
Sutton was traveling at a reported 155 miles per hour when he crashed into the mountain, and police say he was killed on impact.
“The body was so badly damaged on impact with the mountain that his family is unable to identify him by normal means. His body cannot be presented to his family. DNA is being used to formally identify him,” a police spokesman said.
A bank consultant, Sutton participated in extreme sports in his free time. He was 42 years old.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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