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Michigan Base Jumper Dies After Diving Off TV News Tower

Jeff Swensen, Getty Images

The headline should read “Dumbass Dies Young Defying Gravity,” but my editor has asked me to exercise a little sensitivity and compassion while delivering this story…let’s hope for the best.

A Michigan base jumper — those thrill seeking imbeciles who climb atop tall buildings and parachute off — was killed in Jackson County earlier this week when his chute failed to open after leaping from the top of a TV news tower. The impact of this failed jump, of course, turned him into a bag of broken bones and crushed organs.

That is because Michigan State Police say the unnamed man, who was 30-years-old, suffered a free fall of 1,000 feet before being bounced off the ground. While there are too many unknown variables, such as body weight, air drag and density, to calculate just how fast this man was moving before becoming a splatter on the Earth, we have enough information to establish a hypothesis.

In ‘The Complete Book of Sky Sports’ by Linn Emrich, it claims that it takes 12 seconds for 170-pound person to reach terminal velocity, in which that person would have traveled approximately 1,500 feet – reaching a speed of 120 miles per hour. So, our base jumping friend was likely moving at a rate of nearly 100 miles per hour by the time he made impact.

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