Johnny Strange became famous at 17, when he became the youngest person to climb the world’s highest mountains on seven continents, known as the “seven summits.”
LOS ANGELES — Adventurer Johnny Strange was killed Thursday when he crashed while wingsuit BASE jumping in the Swiss Alps.
Strange, 23, crashed a few seconds after taking off from Mount Gitschen, according to a statement from Swiss police Friday.
Police were investigating the crash, but Swiss officials said strong winds had been reported that day.
At age 17, Strange became the youngest person to climb the world’s highest mountains on seven continents, known as the “seven summits,” and appeared on “Conan O’Brien,” CNN and CBS News.
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Just days before the incident, Strange talked about his trip to Switzerland on KROQ-FM’s “Kevin & Bean” show. After the interview, he jumped off a Swiss mountain and filmed himself flying.
The video shows Strange in a wingsuit soaring through the sky above a lush green mountainside and heading over a rocky peak until he finally releases his parachute to break his fall.
It was the last video he posted to YouTube. In his last Instagram photo, Strange wrote, “Which tree should we bring home for Christmas?”
Model Gigi Hadid said she went to Malibu High School with Strange, whom she described as having an adventurous spirit.
“He lived more in 23 years than many do their whole life,” she said on Twitter.
Strange was best-known for daredevil and risky stunts. Wingsuit BASE jumping was one of them. Like BASE jumping, athletes leap from a mountains, ledges and buildings. But the difference is in the wingsuit, which allows such jumpers to extend their flight range and time.
Rock climbers Dean Potter and Graham Hunt were wearing wingsuits when they leapt off Taft Point at Yosemite National Park in May and died. Park officials said their parachutes never deployed.