Friends and family on Wednesday were mourning the death of professional skier Timy Dutton, who was killed while sky-diving in Acampo.
Dutton, 27, of Squaw Valley, died in a midair collision with another sky diver after they jumped from an airplane about 1 p.m. Tuesday. Dutton was a veteran skydiver, BASE jumper and an athletic, acrobatic pro skier.
Dutton’s parachute never deployed, according to media reports. The other sky diver, a friend of Dutton’s, suffered a possible broken leg.
Andy Wirth, president of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, six months ago badly injured his arm when sky-diving in October out of the same Parachute Center in Acampo. He remembered his friend on Wednesday as a man who had a zest for life.
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Wirth spoke about the first day he met Dutton, on the slopes at Squaw Valley.
“He came across a super lighthearted young man,” said Wirth. “He did this huge back flip and just stuck the landing. I would come to realize he was a phenomenal young man and a remarkable athlete.”
Known by nicknames such as “Timy Backflips” and “Rubber Ducky,” Dutton skied on the Freeride World Tour and appeared in Warren Miller skiing films.
Wirth’s arm was torn off at the elbow in his skydiving accident and later reattached. He spent about three months in the hospital and has follow-up surgery in the Bay Area scheduled for Thursday.
“Timy has won numerous competitions,” said Wirth. “He was a positive force. He never had a negative word about anything or anybody.”
Wirth said that Dutton also enjoyed BASE jumping, but the ski company president did not participate with his friend in the risky endeavor. BASE jumping is a pursuit in which individuals with parachutes jump from objects such as buildings and bridges.
It appears from social media posts that Dutton skied Squaw Valley the morning of his death. Wirth said a morning of skiing, followed by a drive to the Lodi area for sky diving was not unusual for Dutton.
Wirth said his friend was what was called a “big mountain skier,” skiing steep lines and challenging terrain.
“He would not only ski those steep lines, but he would pull off a challenging back flip while he was encountering a cliff or a dropoff,” said Wirth. “He was almost like a cat, landing on his feet no matter what he did in the air.”
The resort executive and the carefree, likeble pro skier started sky diving at the same time, about four years ago. By the time Wirth had 25 jumps, Dutton had about 300 jumps.
“He just loved it,” said Wirth. “Both of us would talk about this healthy addiction to skydiving. Unfortunately, that addiction took his life. I will really miss him.”