Erik Roner dies: Tributes pour in for MTV extreme sports star who collided with tree during skydive

Roner was a regular on the reality TV show Nitro Circus 

Heather Saul
Tuesday 29 September 2015 12:55 BST
Erik Roner
Erik Roner (AP)

An MTV extreme sports star has died after colliding with a tree during a skydive, police in California have said.

Erik Roner hit a tree while trying to land at a celebrity gold tournament in Squaw Valley, close to Lake Tahoe, according to the Associated Press. Witnesses said the 39-year-old was one of a group of people conducting a skydiving performance when he hit the tree. Emergency services eventually managed to free him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Roy Tuscany, a friend of Roner who witnessed the accident, said a number of people on the ground scrambled to find ladders to try and free him as he dangled there. Several people tried stand on one another's shoulders in an attempt to get him down.

“There's no protocol for this kind of rescue,” he told AP. “There's no manual. It was just horrible.”

The nine other skydivers landed safely on the golf course.

Roner, a professional skier and BASE jumper, starred in MTV’s Nitro Circus, which followed a group of action and extreme sports stars performing daredevil stunts. The reality TV show was followed by a live world tour and a full length feature film in 2012, Nitro Circus: The Movie.

MTV said in a statement: “We at MTV and MTV2 are saddened to hear about Erik’s passing, and will miss the boundless energy, fearlessness and good vibes he brought to our audience. Our hearts go out to his friends and family.”

The married father-of-two has completed a number of skydives in the past, often filming them on GoPro cameras. GoPro said Roner’s “kindness and spirit will always be a part of us”.

Nitro Circus co-creator Johnny Knoxville and his fellow Nitro Circus team mate Chad Kagy also shared tributes to Roner on Twitter.

Roner is survived by his wife Annika and their two children Oskar and Kasper.

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