Sorry I didn’t realize this post was up. I don’t visit this site as much as I used to. Here is the conclusion from examining the gear and watching three videos, one from a smart phone on the ground, one front facing and one rear facing GoPro, and photographs from the scene that the detectives took.
Eddie was doing a solo jump with his girlfriend videoing from her phone on the ground, it was a static line from a 150 foot antenna. He had a three foot sling looped through the hip ring on his harness, one on each side. He used these periodically when he needed to clip in to a tower for various reasons. He was using a non-locking carabiner on each sling.
Eddie’s harness had factory saddlebags sewn onto the back of each leg strap. Prior to exit, he would tuck the excess webbing into the opening between his leg padding and the bottom skin of the saddlebag and then tuck the carabiner into the opening as well.
In the video, it shows Eddie climbing over the railing and sitting on the top rail. His slings were already stowed prior to recording and his yellow fluorescent bridle is clearly visible and free of any miss routing or potential snags. The video shows him handling the bridle with his right hand as if he is checking the routing of the bridle and he places the sewn in magnet on his bridle on his right hip ring.
Prior to his jump, the video shows very briefly that the carabiner on his right side, probably due to climbing and sitting, had worked its way out about half way. When he jumps out, the bridle is laying over the gate of the carabiner and when the bridle is held tight by the brake cord the tension forced the gate of the carabiner open and the bridle became clipped in.
The brake cord held, the pins were pulled and the canopy was free to be extracted. By this time, it looks as if the excess webbing of the sling had come out of the pocket placing the carabiner and bridle more towards his back. The canopy was being pulled through the carabiner and stopped about two feet into it. At this point Eddie is turned onto his left side, the brake cord brakes and he continues his rotation onto his back. The pilot chute is clearly doing its job. At one point in the video, the canopy can be seen being choked off by the carabiner, which is attached to his harness, the bridle is at full stretch and the pilot chute is in tow until impact. Eddie was found with the sling gripped firmly in his hand. It appears he was trying to clear it but didn’t have enough altitude. He died on impact.
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Eddie's last jump. I miss him deeply every single day.
When we met, one of the things that made me fall in love with him was his deep need to explore, so similar to my own. We agreed that we'd explore the earth and sky together.
To honor that, in the last year, I've been able to take his ashes to many places that he'd never been to or that he loved: --Valhalla Cave, Jackson Co, AL - one of my favorite deep pits, and a place we had not gone together before he died. --Owyhee River, OR-Hole in the Ground - One of my special places to hunt and explore. He never made it to Oregon. --Red River Gorge: Several spots. Base of Crack Attack. At Indian Staircase overlook, and atop Cloud Splitter - epic weekend in the rain. It was one of his favorite places to climb, and where we met. --Grand Canyon Mather Point Overlook. One of his favorite spots. --New River Gorge Bridge (thank you Alan!) - Bridge Day. --Utah- Looking Glass - one of his favorite jumps. Thank you Justin for the ash jump!and at our favorite campsite overlooking Needles/Canyonlands --This weekend I was trying to get toward Hite, UT, to one of our special spots, but the weather this weekend in S. NV/SE Utah was awful with roads closed etc. So, I did something he loved to do - drive around somewhat aimlessly and explore. I wound up off Kane Springs Road west of Elgin NV, at the top of the saddle before descending down the wash westward. Amazing view. He would have loved that area.
These two photos are from the morning of the day he died. We went caving - a small but tight and very wet cave, beautiful but rarely explored - we had a great time, then went to the tower. We'd do that a lot - go caving, then go somewhere he could jump.
I wanted to share these pics - Eddie wasn't just a jumper, he was my lover, my absolute best friend, a climber, and I was trying to convert him to caving too!
Not sure if any of his BASE friends will see this but wanted to let you all know; he will never be forgotten and will keep exploring with me. It's been a hard road, both as his partner in life and his BASE "enabler". I think of what I saw during that last jump, every day. But, I'm incredibly grateful for the years we had together and for the kindness from his friends.
It's amazing how fast your world can change. Gotta enjoy the good people while you can.