According to published news reports, Richard hit a cliff wall shortly after his wife, professional climber Steph Davis, had successfully completed the jump, which they made from a mountain called Sass Pordoi.
Richard, who was originally from Quebec, Canada, moved to Moab in 2007 and founded Moab B.A.S.E. Adventures, which specialized in offering guided and tandem BASE jumps. BASE jumping involves leaping from fixed objects such as cliffs and bridges and floating to the ground with a parachute. When Richard and Davis married in 2011, the newlyweds celebrated immediately after taking their vows by jumping off Parriott Mesa near Castle Valley and parachuting to the ground below.
News of Richard’s death spread quickly throughout the climbing and BASE jumping communities. Hundreds of messages expressing condolences were posted on Davis’ website, as well as on her and Richard’s Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. An obituary article about Richard was also published online on Tuesday and in print on Wednesday by The New York Times, which had also featured an article last year about the couple and their business. According to that 2012 article, Richard had successfully completed 7,000 sky dives and 2,000 BASE jumps at that point in his career.
No information has been made available yet regarding a memorial service.