Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Wingsuit jumper Rob Haggarty 'hit rock face three times'

Base jumping
Image caption There are fewer than 1,000 wingsuit jumpers in the world, the inquest heard

An experienced base jumper died when he lost control during a wingsuit jump in the Italian Dolomites, an inquest has heard.

Rob Haggarty, 47, suffered fatal head and chest injuries at Castelletto della Busazza in June 2018.

A fellow jumper told Italian police he heard "two dull thuds" as Mr Haggarty repeatedly hit the cliff, the hearing in Winchester was told.

Assistant coroner Simon Burge recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

Image caption Rob Haggarty was "no novice jumper", the coroner said

The inquest heard how Mr Haggarty crashed "violently" into the cliff.

Dr Angelo Grubisic, a wingsuit expert from the University of Southampton, told the coroner he had jumped immediately before Mr Haggarty on 24 June.

He said drone footage played at the hearing showed his friend had not leapt with a "significant enough push out".

He said Mr Haggarty's foot made a glancing contact with the cliff, after which he started to rotate forward and crashed into the rock, causing the parachute to deploy.

Image copyright Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico
Image caption Emergency crews were called to the scene in the Italian Dolomites

The coroner said Mr Haggarty, originally from Dumfries but living in Goodworth Clatford near Andover, was "no novice jumper".

Recording his verdict, Mr Burge said Mr Haggarty struck the rock face three times after suffering a "complete loss of control" within two seconds of jumping.

"He failed to propel himself sufficiently... and his wingsuit failed to inflate fully," Mr Burge added.

"The first collision caused severe head and chest injuries, and he was either killed or lost consciousness.

"It is abundantly clear he didn't suffer," he told Mr Haggarty's wife Joanna and other relatives.

Base jumping involves jumping from cliffs, mountains or buildings wearing a wingsuit or using a parachute.

Image copyright Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico
Image caption A rescue worker at the top of Castelletto della Busazza

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