Portland BASE jumper dies in Silverton

Portland BASE jumper dies in Silverton

Credit: Mike Benner, KGW Staff

Portland BASE jumper dies in Silverton

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by Sara Roth, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 18 at 11:47 AM

SILVERTON, Ore. – A Portland man died in an apparent base-jumping accident Thursday morning, police said.

Around 7 a.m., the friends of 38-year-old BASE jumper Zachary Sommer reported that he never called to let them know he was safe after a planned base jump from a 1000-foot-high tower in Silverton.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Sommer dead.

Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Cooper, an experienced base jumper, said he thinks Sommer grabbed a lanyard as well as the handle to open the parachute, which prevented the chute from deploying properly.

"It's sad and I know what the community will be going through," said Cooper.  "They're missing a friend."

Marion County officials said they were not releasing the specific location of the tower and there are no places to BASE jump legally in Marion County.

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