Yosemite National Park officials are using the footage captured on Dean Potter’s helmet-mounted GoPro camera to investigate the cause of the May 16 accident that resulted in the deaths of Potter and fellow wingsuit flier Graham Hunt.
Mike Gauthier, Yosemite’s chief of staff, told the AP on Tuesday that Hunt may have been knocked off course after he clipped the side of a notch in an outcropping the two were attempting to fly through. Potter then swooped left to adjust as Hunt tumbled and hit the rocks on the opposite side of the notch.
“It could have been an evasive maneuver,” Gauthier told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Someone else said they saw a clipped piece of tree up there, so we don’t know for sure.”
The footage from Potter’s GoPro and still photos taken by observers are helping park officials piece together what exactly happened. Potter’s girlfriend, Jenn Rapp, shot video from Taft Point, a promontory 3,000 feet above the valley floor, where the jump was staged. Hunt’s girlfriend, Rebecca Haynie, was waiting below for the two to land. The men’s bodies were found 50 yards apart below Taft Point.