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Austin Desi’s final moments before he died in paragliding accident as his wife Janette speaks

The widow of a man who died in a paragliding accident has told how he lived on the edge until his horrific death.

Austin Desi spent every weekend climbing to the top of Mount Archer, in the Somerset region of Queensland, with his mate Liam Cunningham.

The friends bonded over their love for extreme sports like BASE jumping and skydiving and had recently found a passion for paragliding.

Six years ago, on a seemingly ordinary Sunday morning, the couple took to the skies not knowing their lives were about to change forever.

During the flight, Austin cut a tree and was thrown 40 meters to the ground, breaking most of his body and sustaining serious internal injuries in the fall.

His wife Janette, who was heavily pregnant with their second child at the time, was only days away from giving birth when she received word of the accident.

“I was very pregnant and he wanted to fly and he said ‘oh I better go now so I have a chance before the baby is born,'” Janette said. SBS Insight.

Janette said her husband always took risks and even asked his wife if he should take the car in case he had to rush to meet her during labor.

“He asked if he could take our car because he might meet me at the hospital,” she said.

Liam Cunningham (pictured) and his good friend Austin Desi enjoyed their weekend ritual of climbing and then jumping from Mount Archer in Brisbane's north

Liam Cunningham (pictured) and his good friend Austin Desi enjoyed their weekend ritual of climbing and then jumping from Mount Archer in Brisbane’s north

Austin’s wife and close friend revisited their final memories of Brisbane’s father on an episode of SBS Insight, which airs Tuesday night.

Mr Cunningham recalled the moment he realized his friend’s injuries were serious.

“Eventually he cut down one of the trees and was thrown about 40 meters into the ground. I saw him hit the ground,” he told host Kumi Taguchi.

“He was unconscious, bloody. As I tried to put him in the recovery position, checking to see what kind of damage had occurred, I realized there were virtually no bones in his legs. Both legs would just move like jelly.

“It was about then that I started to realize, okay, this is much more serious than bumping his head on the way down and maybe he won’t wake up now.”

Mr Cunningham stayed by Austin’s side for several hours before paramedics arrived by helicopter to take the couple to safety.

The 35-year-old died at Archer Falls Airfield, leaving behind his pregnant wife Janette and their three-year-old daughter Evelyn.

Austin Desi, the father of two, died six years ago in May 2016 in a horror paragliding accident at Mount Archer in the Somerset region of Queensland.

Austin Desi, the father of two, died six years ago in May 2016 in a horror paragliding accident at Mount Archer in the Somerset region of Queensland.

Five days after his fatal accident, Janette gave birth to her son, whom her husband had named Charles. The baby’s middle name is Austin in tribute to his father.

The new mum of two took to social media to share the bittersweet news at the time.

“He’s perfect,” Janette wrote on her Facebook page at the time. “Even as we continue to adjust to the loss of his father, I am so happy to celebrate the birth of our son.”

The Queensland coroner found Austin died as a result of multiple injuries sustained in the crash, including fractures to his skull, legs, arms and pelvis.

“It would be Austin Desi’s first flight of a recently purchased Ozone Zero paraglider, shortly before the expected birth of his second child,” the report, handed over in 2017, said.

The coroner reported Austin was completing a turn when his canopy collapsed and most likely hit a large tree, with the paraglider falling heavily to the ground, colliding with both legs before doing a somersault and landing on his back.

Mr Cunningham told the Austin coroner “extensive knowledge of flying conditions in the area” and described their morning flight as “straightforward”.

There was no evidence of any malfunction or safety issue with the parachute, with the coroner reporting that the primary cause of the accident was due to Austin’s lack of paragliding experience or altitude to correct the canopy collapse.

It was also noted that Austin’s weight was about 10kg higher than the manufacturer’s recommendation for the Ozone Zero paraglider, which was considered a minor factor in the incident.

Justine told SBS Insight that she and Austin signed their will 10 days before his death because of his love of extreme sports and the risks involved.

“He went BASE jumping again and I said ‘the rule is we have to get our will signed before you can even invest in more parachutes,'” she said.

Janette gave birth to her son, whom her husband had named Charles, five days after his fatal accident (pictured shows the couple with their daughter Evelyn)

Janette gave birth to her son, whom her husband had named Charles, five days after his fatal accident (pictured shows the couple with their daughter Evelyn)

A week before the delivery, Janette spoke of the grief she had to tell her daughter that her father would never come home.

“We said to Evelyn, ‘Dad has a new job,'” Janette told the Daily Mail Australia.

“He puts all the clouds in the sky and sometimes they’re smooth and sometimes they’re bubbles.”

“And she got really excited about the bubbles. Evelyn replied, “Well mom, you’ll be glad when he comes down again”.

“And I said he’s not coming back and that’s why everyone is so sad. Daddy flies. And he’s not coming home.

“The hardest part of all of this is explaining to my daughter that Daddy doesn’t come home to kiss her goodnight, which he did every night.”

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