Olympics stuntman Mark Sutton died in Switzerland in a wing-diving incident on Wednesday, after he leapt from a helicopter and fell over 10,000 feet to the ground.
Famous for portraying English icon James Bond in the 2010 Olympic Games opening ceremony, the 42-year-old Sutton was in Switzerland to perform at a special wing-diving (wing-suiting) event when the accident took place.
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Sutton appears to have died after hitting a ridge at 125 miles per hour after leaping from a helicopter while wearing the specially designed suit, which allows dare-devils with a lot of previous skydiving experience to soar through canyons and cliffs — but not without danger.
Swiss authorities confirmed the death, which took place in the Swiss Grandes Otanes area during a filming set up for Epic TV, an online channel devoted to coverage of extreme sports such as wingsuiting.
Sadly, Sutton experienced injuries so severe from the fall that his body had to be identified with a DNA test, according to the Independent.
“Mark was a very experienced pilot," said Epic TV editor in chief Trey Cook to NBC of the incident. "Conditions were good yesterday and people had been flying extremely conservatively in the practice flights, but unfortunately this is a sport where there is very little margin for error.”
2012 Games leaders Sebastian Coe and Danny Boyle saluted Sutton after his death in the media, hailing him as an important part of the extremely successful Olympic Games of last summer.
"Disciplined and brave in situations most of us would find terrifying, Mark was also a gentle and thoughtful man," wrote Opening Ceremonies director Danny Boyle in the London Evening Standard of his passing. "The show was built from so many contributions from so many people, none finer and braver than Mark Sutton."