The sergeant major of the British Army’s iconic Red Devils parachute display team tragically plunged to his death during a training exercise in Spain on Friday.
After crash-landing at the drop zone and receiving urgent medical care, Walton, an experienced parachuter with about 2,000 jumps, was pronounced dead at the scene, Daily Mail reports.
Nimsdai Purja, 39, a well-known mountaineer from Nepal, whose chute collided with Walton’s spoke out about the horrifying ordeal
“Dean and I were conducting canopy handling and stacking drills,” Purja, 39 wrote on Facebook. “We left the aircraft at 15,000ft and were under good canopies by 3,500ft. Dean approached and was positioned at 45 degrees directly behind and above.”
“This required deep brakes to stay in position and it is thought due to this Dean’s canopy stalled and collapsed, sending him through my canopy and entangling him within my lines.”
He said the ordeal sent them both into a “severe spin” and “increased our fall rate dramatically.”
“At this point, I had no option but to cut away and pull my reserve,” he said.
Purja explained that Walton’s canopy started to descend at a much faster rate than his due to it being inflated and suffered “serious injuries” by the time he reached the ground.
“I conducted life-saving treatment but due to the severity of his injuries I was unable to resuscitate him,” he wrote. “I am devastated at the loss of Dean who was super talented and loved what he did.”
He is survived by his wife, Shelby Walton, and their one-year-old daughter Stella, according to SNBC13.
Walton, a passionate surfer and world traveler, spent at least 17 years as a member of the British Army, where he was deployed to Afghanistan four times.
According to his LinkedIn page, Walton organized Red Devil team training exercises and parachute demonstrations.
The Red Devils conduct around 60 public displays a year at home and overseas, according to their website. Walton was a member of the team when it jumped into the Pentagon in Washington D.C., which Walton recalls as one of his most memorable jumps.
The Post has reached out to the Red Devils for comment.