Erik Roner—professional skier and adventurist, and star of Nitro Circus and the web series Roner Vision—has passed away following a skydiving accident in Squaw Valley, California. Roner was part of a four-man skydive, tied to the Squaw Valley Institute’s annual Celebrity Golf Tournament, when the incident occurred, sometime after 10:00 a.m. PST.
Among the foursome were JT Holmes, Aaron McGovern and Charles Bryant; the three of them landed safely. According to Roy Tuscany of the High Fives Foundation, who was on-site, McGovern landed first, followed by Holmes. Roner was set to land next, but after deploying his parachute, he made contact with a tree. It is unclear weather Roner died immediately upon impact or succumbed to injuries suffered in the crash.
“The impact was horrible, and everything afterwards was just horrible,” said Tuscany. “Everything was downright terrible.”
Tuscany described a scene in which Roner was suspended by his chute, approximately 25 ft. up in a tree, as event-goers attempted to extract him by any and all means, including ladders and the building of a human wall. “Everybody gave 125% to save Erik,” Tuscany explained. “All everyone wanted to do was help.” More than 100 individuals witnessed the crash; the skydive was intended to serve as the kick-off to the golf tournament, of which all four skydivers were celebrity participants. Roner was ultimately transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Roner is among the most well-known action sports athletes in the world, having starred in multiple films by Teton Gravity Research; founding his own, popular web series dubbed Roner Vision; traveling with the MTV Nitro Circus tour and also having completed hundreds of ski-BASE jumps, BASE jumps and skydives, too. Roner claimed numerous first descent ski-BASE lines from Chile to Argentina, to Alaska, New Zealand and Europe. With a flair for entertainment, Roner’s charisma and knack for extreme stunts earned him a devout following of fans across the globe.
Hailing from northern California, Roner (39) leaves behind his wife and two children. Tuscany explained, “That’s what needs to be resonated. He had a baby boy and a baby girl, and a beautiful wife. That’s the most important thing that needs to be stated. He was not an individual, he was a family man, with a beautiful family.”
On behalf of the entire team here at FREESKIER, we extend deepest condolences to the Roner family, and to all those in the community who feel the impact of this loss.
We will continue to provide updates as they become available.