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Squaw Pro Skier Timy Dutton Dead After Skydiving Accident

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Tahoe lost another professional athlete on April 29 when Timy Dutton, a pro skier and BASE jumper, died in a skydiving accident over Lodi, Calif. Dutton, 27, was a Squaw Valley native whose career had taken off in the last few years. His accident occurred in the same spot where, six months earlier, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings CEO and President Andy Wirth almost lost his life after landing in a vineyard.

On April 29, after jumping out of a plane over Lodi, Dutton collided with another Tahoe-based skydiver mid-air about 30 seconds after exit. In the collision, Dutton broke his partner’s leg with his head, knocking Dutton unconscious before he was able to deploy his chute. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the accident.

“It’s a shock,” said Dutton’s aunt, Debbie Dutton, who was gathered with their family that day in Squaw Valley trying to deal with news of the tragedy. “It happened so fast. It’s so devastating. We all knew this type of thing was risky, but you never want them to go.”

Squaw’s Wirth said he was heartbroken at the news of Timy’s death.

“We were certified to jump at the same time,” he said. “I jumped with him a bunch. I am deeply saddened … He was a great skydiver, that is one of the many reasons I was shocked to hear the news.”

Timy was jumping with Wirth at the time of his accident in October, when changing winds forced Wirth to land in a vineyard, severely mangling his right arm. Wirth said Timy came to visit him many times during his three months in the hospital.

“He always brightened my spirits,” Wirth said. “The North Lake Tahoe community has lost a really nice young man who was not only a remarkable athlete but was someone who made his way through some incredible challenges.”

Timy overcame drug addiction to reach the top of his sport, both in skiing and canopy sports. Timy was featured in the 2011 Warren Miller film, “…Like There’s No Tomorrow” and “Wintervention,” as well as Match Stick Productions “The Way I See It.” He made a name for himself with victories at the North American Freesking Championships and on the Freeride World Tour. Dutton also appears in the Warner Brother’s remake of “Godzilla,” to be released May 16, where he filmed aerial stunts performed with local pro skier and BASE jumper J.T. Holmes. Holmes wrote on his Facebook page after Timy’s death: “Wish you could have been around to see yourself on the big screen, Timy!”

Timy’s memorial on May 4 at Squaw Valley attracted hundreds of mourners, who filled the KT Base Bar deck and spilled onto the grass. Speakers included Holmes and pro skier Michelle Parker, who remembered their friend nicknamed “Rubber Ducky;” stickers featuring a rubber ducky were already circulating at the memorial. Timy’s father, Brad, brought the crowd to tears with his story of saying goodbye to his son the day after he died.

Before heading to Lodi on the morning of April 29, Dutton skied a line at Squaw. His last post on Facebook reads: “Searching through every nook and cranny for the last bit of pow in the Sierras.”

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November 9, 2017