Canadian skydiver killed in Southern California roof crash

Man died after striking fellow jumper mid-air, slamming into a home without parachute ever deploying

U.S. aviation authorities will take a look at the equipment used by an Alberta skydiver who was killed this week after slamming into a California home during a wingsuit competition.

Aime-Jean St. Hilaire-Adam, 27, hailed from Calgary but was originally from western Quebec.

He died Monday after striking a fellow jumper mid-air and slamming into a home without his parachute ever deploying.

Authorities found his unconscious body on the roof of a home just a few kilometres southwest of Perris Valley Airport, a popular spot for skydivers about 112 kilometres from Los Angeles.

Organizers at the Wide Open Wingsuit Series, a three-day racing contest in which competitors wear high-performance wing-suits and race each other through the air, referred comment to the manager of a local skydiving school in Perris.

A spokesman for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Wednesday it will investigate.

“When accidents involve solo skydivers, our investigation is typically limited to looking into whether the parachute was properly packed by the appropriate person,” spokesman Ian Gregor said in an email.

St. Hilaire-Adam, who had lived in Calgary in recent years, was originally from Ripon, Que.

Mayor Luc Desjardins said the young man’s death was on everyone’s mind in the community of about 1,500.

Desjardins’ daughter went to school with St. Hilaire-Adam.

“He travelled a lot, he liked extreme activities, he was a good kid,” Desjardins said, referring to what his daughter told him. ”It’s not easy to see or hear. I’m sure his parents are devastated. It’s very difficult.”

Jean-Francois Gaudreau met St. Hilaire-Adam about 10 years back and knew him during a brief time playing rugby at a local junior college in Quebec and then with a local senior club.

“He was a very nice guy, always in a good mood who liked activities that were physical,” Gaudreau recalled.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press

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