POLICE investigating the death of a British stuntman in the Swiss Alps are studying video footage of his final fatal jump, they revealed last night.
Mark Sutton, from Surrey, who famously parachuted into the Olympic Stadium dressed as James Bond alongside a Queen lookalike during the opening ceremony of London 2012, died after hitting a mountain ridge during a freefall from a helicopter near Mont Blanc.
The 42-year-old former Ghurkha Rifles officer was taking part in an activity known as wing-diving – an extreme sport which involves using a special jumpsuit with wings that allow the wearer to glide – in the Trient area of the Swiss Alps when he was killed on Wednesday.
Trey Cook, editor-in-chief of Epic TV, an “online extreme sports media service”, said Mr Sutton was part of a group of 20 of the world’s top wingsuit pilots he had invited to the Alps to jump on film.
Speaking from Chamonix, the French resort where the group are staying, he said: “There were two pilots that jumped at the same time. The pilot who was with him (Mr Sutton) had a camera on.”
He said the moment of impact was not captured on film.
Wingsuits are special jumpsuits which increase the surface area of the body and act like a parachute wing, allowing users to glide through the air at high speeds before landing via parachute.
Mr Cook said all bar one of the group had decided to carry on with jumps despite his death, in tribute to his memory.
A tuxedo-clad Mr Sutton doubled for actor Daniel Craig for a section of the Games curtain-raiser which saw the spy pretend to jump alongside the Queen with Union flag parachutes after flying by helicopter from Buckingham Palace.
In the fatal glide, police said the pair jumped from a height of 10,826ft (3,300m). They said: “During this flight, one of the men had a fatal fall. According to preliminary investigations, it appears he fell after hitting a ridge.”
Gary Connery, who played the Queen in the Olympic sketch, said he had lost a close friend who was “smart, articulate and funny”.
He said: “In any sport where you share a common bond you can make friends in a heartbeat that last a lifetime. My relationship with Mark was like that.”
Last night, Danny Boyle, the creative director of the opening ceremony of the Games, described Mr Sutton’s death as “such sad news” and described the stuntman as “wonderful”.
He said: “In a brilliant partnership with Gary Connery they made the stadium gasp at the opening ceremony in London 2012 and left indelible memories for people from all walks of life all over the world.”
Lord Coe, who chaired the committee which organised the Games, said the death was “desperately sad news”.
Jean-Marie Bornet, of the Valais police service, said his injuries were so severe that experts were forced to identify his body with a DNA test. “We do not know what caused his death but we know it was immediate,” he added. “If you do this at speeds of 200kmph, the margin for error is very small.”