Red Devils bait plunges 3,500 feet to his death after parachute gets stuck in fellow jumpers’ lines
- A sergeant major of the British Army paratroopers team dies in a tragedy with a jump
- Sergeant Dean Walton of the Red Devils died after a mid-air collision during the jump
- Lines of parachute entangled in another jumper, causing the canopy to collapse
- Sgt Walton then made a heavy spin and then made a high speed crash landing
The sergeant major of the world famous British army paratroopers team has been killed in a tragedy.
Sergeant Dean Walton of the Red Devils died on Friday after a mid-air collision during a training jump in Spain.
The lines of his parachute became entangled with those of another jumper, causing his canopy to collapse. He then went into a heavy spin, after which he crashed at high speed.
Despite emergency medical treatment in the drop zone, he was pronounced dead. The jumper who collided in mid-air with Sergeant Walton, who then desperately tried to save his life, wrote a harrowing account of the tragedy on Facebook.
Nimsdai Purja, 39, a celebrated Nepalese mountaineer and former Special Boat Service trooper, said: “Dean and I were handling and stacking the awning.
‘We exited the plane at 15,000 feet and were under good canopies [fully deployed chutes] by 3,500 feet. Dean approached and stood at 45 degrees directly behind and above.
“This required deep brakes to stay in position and it is believed that this Dean’s canopy caught and collapsed, sending him through my canopy and entangling him in my lines.
Red Devils Sergeant Dean Walton died Friday after a mid-air collision during a training jump in Spain
The lines of Sgt Walton’s (pictured) parachute became entangled with those of another jumper. He later made a heavy spin and crash landing at high speed
“This put us both in a serious spin and dramatically increased our fall rate. At this point I had no choice but to cut away and pull my spare. Dean’s canopy had inflated but descended faster. I saw that he was seriously injured. I received life-saving treatment, but due to the severity of his injuries, I was unable to resuscitate him.
“I’m devastated to lose Dean, who was super talented and loved what he did.”
The Red Devils, founded in 1964, are the official paratrooper team of the army. The team consists of serving paratroopers who return to their combat duties after their appearance.
The Red Devils are the military equivalent of the RAF’s Red Arrows. They perform at least 60 public displays in the UK and internationally each year, jumping in sports stadiums, festivals and racetracks.
Daredevils: The elite paratroopers in one of their high-octane feats. The Red Devils are the official paratrooper team of the British Army
Last year Sergeant Walton led his colleagues on a performance to mark England reaching the final of the Euro 2020 Women’s Football Championship. According to his LinkedIn profile, Sergeant Walton, of Portsmouth, had been a military paratrooper and instructor for over 17 years.
He described his role on the demonstration team as “coordination of the activities of a large team of highly skilled military paratroopers demonstrators. I am also responsible for the maintenance of the equipment and the training of the team’.
Last night the army said, “It is with sadness that we can confirm the death of Sergeant Dean Walton. Our thoughts are with the soldier’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
In February 2021, a SAS soldier on a secret parachute jump in Iraq was seriously injured after colliding with a US Special Forces paratrooper in mid-air. Their lines became entangled after jumping from 18,000 feet. The American soldier was also seriously injured when they crashed to Earth.
The accident in hostile territory, disclosed exclusively by the Daily Mail, sparked a dramatic rescue operation.
The purpose of their mission was never confirmed. Official British defense sources claimed the incident took place during an exercise, but airborne soldiers who were friends with those involved said it was an intelligence-gathering mission against Islamic State.
They added that the environment was too dangerous for exercises.
A Fijian SAS soldier was seriously injured last year when his parachute was not deployed correctly during a jump in California. In 2020, two SAS soldiers were seriously injured when they jumped on power lines during an exercise in Fife, Scotland.