Dwain Weston’s Last Jump: What Happened
Dwain Weston was an Australian BASE jumper, skydiver and wingsuiter. Weston had completed over 1200 base jumps around the world, including Jumping from the 73rd floor of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, with hardly a scratch to his name. But he always liked to push the envelope that little bit further. Dwain Weston had become a legend in the BASE jumping and wingsuit flying community, pioneering various techniques in this extreme sport.
On the 5th of October 2003, at age 30, at the end of the inaugural Go Fast Games for extreme sports, Dwain Weston with his buddy Jeb Corliss attempted to fly over (Weston) and under (Corliss) the Royal River Gorge suspension bridge near Cañon City in Colorado. At 956 feet (316 metres) above the river, it is the highest suspension bridge in the world.
It was to be the last jump that Weston would ever make. As the two men were about to jump from their aircraft above the canyon, Weston turned to Corliss and said ‘Remember, whatever happens happens’.
Unfortunately, Weston had miscalculated his trajectory. In spite of his extensive training and because of tricky winds around the canyon, he crashed into the bridge, hitting the railings at an estimated 120mph (190 km/h). He was killed instantly – his body broken and smashed drifted down into the canyon on his parachute. Corliss landed, covered in Weston’s blood and with his severed leg on the ground next to him.
There were about 200 people on the bridge witnessing the tragic event taking place.
Videos of Dwain Weston’s Accident
Below are the frightening, graphic and shocking videos of Weston’s last jump.
Video showing Dwain Weston hitting the bridge, and the damage to the bridge:
In the video below, Jeb Corliss is telling his experience of the shocking event:
Jeb Corliss Returns To The Bridge
Just a year after his buddy Dwain Weston had his final fatal journey and crashed into the bridge being killed immediately, Corliss basejumped from that same bridge, over the Royal River Gorge.
Flipping in different directions, forwards and backwards, Corliss seemed to lose control as he nearly hit the canyon wall – in his own words, ‘I was as close to the wall as you can get without touching it…..if I had pulled (the parachute) a second later I would have gone in’.
Corliss goes on to talk about his view and opinion of both base jumping and life, ‘it is who we are, it is what we are, if I die doing something i love it is not throwing my life away………I don’t believe you can push life too far, if you stop pushing you become stagnant and die……you must evolve…….find what it is you love to do then go do it.’
Powerful words from a man who certainly follows in his own creed. Who knows where or how the story will end.
Jeb Corliss’ Wingsuit Landing Project
Not deterred by the death of his friend, and inspired by the flight of a flying squirrel, Jeb Corliss wanted to attempt to be the first man to land from a wingsuit flight without deploying a parachute.
Jumping from an aircraft, Corliss would reach terminal velocity, about 120mph, and then aim for a $3 million landing ramp. In the end, it is Gary Connery who was the first to make a successful wingsuit landing without a parachute in 2021 with a DIY solution: a pile of cardboard boxes.
Top image: The Royal Gorge Bridge inn 1987, by Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0 (via Wikipedia)