Erik Roner Died in Lake Tahoe Skydiving Accident Today

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Eric Roner and son.
Eric Roner and son.

We have learned from local sources that professional skier, professional BASE jumper, and Nitro Circus stuntman Erik Roner has died in a skydiving accident in Lake Tahoe, California today.  Erik was 39 years old.

It’s being reported that Erik was skydiving with three other skydivers: JT Holmes, Aaron McGovern, and Charles Bryant.  They were performing an opening act for the Squaw Valley Institute’s annual Celebrity Golf Tournament at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe today.

Erik reportedly hit a tree while traveling at high speed as he was landing his parachute shortly after 10am today in front of a crowd of 120 people.  The impact reportedly killed him upon impact or shortly thereafter.  Erik hung 25-feet off the ground in the tree he struck for over 30 minutes while waiting for emergency crews to reach him.  Once rescue crews reached him, he was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Erik Roner

It’s being reported that Aaron McGovern landed first, JT Holmes second, then Erik Roner hit a tree near the landing zone very hard.

“He hit a tree… he hit a tree so hard. I don’t know what happened from there.”  Roy Tuscany, owner of High-5s, told TGR over the phone today

Erik grew up in Northern California, played soccer at BYU, has been skydiving and BASE jumping since the year 2000, and is considered one of the co-founders ski BASE jumping.  Erik became well known when he joined the Nitro Circus in 2005.

Erik was a local pro skier at Squaw who was always humble and quiet as opposed to his over the top antics on the Nitro Circus.

In a bio that Erik wrote up about himself on his personal website, he quotes Hunter S. Thompson: 

“Faster, faster, faster until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.”

Erik is survived by his wife and two young children.

Our most sincere condolences to Erik’s family and friends and all the Lake Tahoe community.

Erik Roner in Alaskan spines in 2008. photo: chris bezamat
Erik Roner in Alaskan spines in 2008. photo: chris bezamat

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15 thoughts on “Erik Roner Died in Lake Tahoe Skydiving Accident Today

  1. What a great guy he was! A magical personality and he always ” stole the show! ” and that wasn’t even his goal, he just did! It was extra sad to learn he passed away on my birthday!
    To the individual above who went on and on about Roner and others like him being selfish etc.. well, you obviously have never participated in any high adrenaline type sport or activity because the main reason one does what he did and of course it’s my opinion and I am speaking for myself versus another, however, one does such things for many, many reasons yet some, like mine, could be to overcome certain fears, to push yourself into doing a particular activity that was always like a childhood dream but you didn’t do it bc of fear and to anyone that knows what I’m talking about will agree with me 110% because you’ll never be able to live with yourself, knowing that to have that one dream left untouched, that one jump, that one climb, whatever it may be. It will literally destroy you 10x faster than any danger associated with the particular activity! #LiveLikeRoner
    Cheers from @josephelmorejr
    Many blessings to you and yours,

  2. Its incredibly irresponsible for a family man to take such risks. I guarantee that if he had life insurance, the moment those people find out that he had a chute strapped on, his insurance is null and void! How is his widow and children supposed to live now? Handouts? Charity Fund Raisers?…eventually those events fade away, and children are left wondering why their dad would risk his life in such a way, and leave them forever. RedBull, GoPro and other such corporate entities take no responsibility for urging athletes to push the envelope and if there is injury or death, they have no financial stake in that injury or death. I have no particular sense of sadness for such athletes when they die. I do feel horrible for their kids. Its selfish and irresponsible for people like Erik and Shane and dozens more that disregarded their families just so they could stoke their egos just one more time! The dead know only one thing…its better to be alive!

  3. It is awful when someone as young and talented as Erik Dies , at some point you really have to realize the sport of high speed skydiving / wing suit flying is just too dangerous ! how many people have to die ?

  4. The line he skied in the Dolomites for the climax scene of Tangerine Dream was one of the all time skiing achievements. I will never see anything more mentally difficult. He managed his thoughts, kept his focus, and nailed it. best BASE sequence I’ve ever seen (Shane too of course), in part because the skiing before the jump was not easy. this guy will be so missed.

  5. You can bet that more people will die, afterwards people will ask why then someone else will die. If nobody told you, BASE jumping is dangerous.

  6. What awful things to say. Might it be that this is just a really hazardous activity, one that people are becoming desensitized to because of its constant Red Bull-fueled hype?

    My condolences.

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