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.