Erik Roner, father, husband and beloved member of the action-sports community, has tragically died after a parachuting accident this morning in Squaw Valley, California.
As a member of a small four-man team of parachuters jumping as part of the opening ceremonies of the Fourth Annual Squaw Valley Institute Celebrity Golf Tournament, Roner descended into the drop zone but was off target and hit a large tree. According to witnesses, Roner was suspended by his chute 25-30 feet off the ground for at least 40 minutes until emergency crews could reach him. He was then transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Cause of death is still unknown.
While Roner is known throughout the world for his antics on MTV’s Nitro Circus, skiers know him as a humble professional who never took himself too seriously while helping to pioneer ski-BASE-jumping with fellow Squaw skier Shane McConkey. Skiing for Teton Gravity Research, Roner was featured ski-BASEing off iconic locations around the world, including Cody Peak in Jackson Hole. His career took off in 2005 when Travis Pastrana asked him to join the Nitro Circus crew. In front of a global audience, Roner fit in as the dorky skier who performed funny and crazy stunts. He was also the host of the TGR-produced series “Locals” airing on Outside TV.
At home in Squaw, however, he was a local fixture who could always be counted on for a smile and genuine personality. The tragedy comes as North Tahoe continues to confront the deaths of its local heroes.
Roner is survived by his wife, Annika, and two young children.
POWDER will have more on this accident as it unfolds. Our hearts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. —Matt Hansen