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UK skydiver dies after parachute fails in French Alps base jump

Dave Reader
Dave Reader

A British skydiver has died after his parachute failed to open on a jump in the French Alps, his family said.

David Reader, 25, was taking part in a base jump near Sallanches, close to Mont Blanc, on August 7.

His parachute failed to open and he hit the ground, suffering a severe head injury and several injuries to his body.

Mr Reader, from Newnham in Gloucestershire, was taken to hospital in Annecy but died the following day.

His girlfriend Domi Kiger said on Facebook: "He had a few body injuries but the most serious one was a very severe head trauma.

"I spent that first night with him in his room, holding his hand, talking to him, wishing for a miracle. The miracle didn't happen."

Miss Kiger said her boyfriend's organs had been donated and he would save six lives.

She added: "Dave was the most incredible human being I ever met. The type you don't necessarily notice straight away, the best type in my eyes.

"He was kind, humble, gentle, incredibly smart and talented in absolutely everything he put his mind into. Bright in so many ways.

"He was quiet and reserved but so warm, loving and fun to those who took the time to get to know him. He was wise beyond his years.

"He was ambitious in a good way, wanting to make a difference in the flying industry, and make the world a better place. I know he would have.

"It took us a bit of time to find our place in each other's life but we were on our way to such an amazing life together. We felt like we found each other's match, brain, body and soul.

"The same appetite for life, the same curiosity and ambition to always better ourselves, to constantly learn, grow and explore together.

"We loved each other very deeply and had become really good at saying and showing it to each other.

"He made such a huge impact on me. Taking me from emotional darkness to light, inspiring me to be the best possible version of myself. Making me so balanced, and intensely happy at the same time.

"I can barely start grasping the void he is leaving in my life. I know I'm not the only one who will miss him."

Mr Reader's brother Dickon, a professional event rider, said: "I haven't just lost a brother. I have lost a role model who I looked up to to lead the way.

"He was always so ambitious, wanted to better himself and find ways of improving and pushing the boundaries.

"He wanted to and did enhance the lives of everyone around him. He always believed in me, supported me and will leave a huge gap in my life. Rest in peace, you will never be forgotten."

Mr Reader worked as a wind tunnel instructor for Norway-based VossVind.

A spokesman said: "We are all extremely sad and devastated over the loss of our dear David. It is unreal, this was not supposed to happen.

"We were lucky to have him as an instructor. Dave was a wonderful ambassador for VossVind on his travels around the world. Not just because of his mad tunnel skills, but for the person he was. He was kind, funny, caring, inspiring, positive and simply amazing - we will miss him so much."