Base-jumper electrocuted – Darwin Award candidate

with 22 comments

An Arizona man was electrocuted when he parachuted from a cellphone tower at night and landed on high-voltage power lines, police said.

Darrell Dunafon, 23, of Casa Grande, had broken through a fence surrounding the cell tower with two friends and climbed the tower Friday night, KSAZ, TV, Phoenix, reported.

Dunafon fell onto a 12,000-volt live wire in Casa Grande, Lt. Tamatha Villar of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office told The Arizona Republic…

Dunafon’s friends may face criminal charges, Villar said.

His friends probably aren’t any brighter than he was.

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Written by Ed Campbell

December 7, 2009 at 9:00 am

22 Responses

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  1. I guess my Mom and Dad were right. You really should look before you leap.


    December 7, 2009 at 9:43 am

  2. Only the jumper appears to be charged.


    December 7, 2009 at 10:47 am

  3. Darrell Dunafon had his brightest moment when he landed on the power line.


    December 7, 2009 at 8:13 pm

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by eideard, Dave. Dave said: As I've always said: Nature takes care of idiots just fine (humans keep trying to save them) – http://bit.ly/8X1HPu [...]

    • OMG…. you people that post such horrible things about a young man who died in a tragic accident such as this one are cruel. Darrell was a son, a soldier, friend to many… His life touched people in ways that you could only imagine. You know nothing of him yet you chose to write cruel things for all to see just how “bright” you are… didn’t your parents raise you better? Get a life.

      Christie Staffa

      Christie Staffa

      December 10, 2009 at 1:35 pm

      • Suicidal leaps into the darkness are not within the ken of parachutists with any sense of self-preservation. Tragic? Not at all.

        Stupid, ego-smitten – very likely. But, then, that’s what the Darwin Award is all about.


        December 10, 2009 at 2:13 pm

        • You literally have no idea what you are talking about. BASE jumping is a progressing sport and in no way suicidal and he didnt jump for ego driven purposes. You don’t know him, you know nothing about skydiving or basejumping (two completely different sports). I feel bad for all of you who post this stuff. Insensitive, ignorant… just because your behind a computer screen doesnt mean you can say whatever you want. Karma will come back

          Chase p

          December 13, 2009 at 6:01 pm

          • Dearest Chase Pee,

            This is a blog and as such, we can comment on the articles. Darrell Dunafon’s dumb decision of jumping at night, earned him a Darwin Award. Now, you might not agree with it… but he sure did.

            Take good care, bud.



            December 13, 2009 at 6:31 pm

            • The majority of BASE jumps are done at night. Do some research before you start tearing a tragedy apart.

              Chase p

              December 13, 2009 at 11:53 pm

          • BASE jumping is a progressing sport and in no way suicidal

            Anyone jumping off a tall tower NOT knowing there are power lines beneath is a Darwin Award winner in the making. Suicidal or not, it wasn’t a life extending jump.

            Mr. Fusion

            December 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm

            • Once again you have no idea what you are talking about. They knew exactly where the powerlines were. They did not jump onto the power lines. When basejumping it is possible to have an off heading opening or line twists that are sometimes uncontrollable. Nothing you do for fun is life extending. BASEjumping is a risky sport but risks are manageable but, as with everything in life, there are fluke accidents. He was very skilled in what he did, accidents happen. Be respectful

              Chase p

              December 13, 2009 at 8:50 pm

              • “BASEjumping is a risky sport but risks are manageable but, as with everything in life, there are fluke accidents.”

                Fluke accidents… Call it far what it was… Pure stupidity.


                December 13, 2009 at 9:04 pm

                • You just cant understand. You live your life in fear. You only get one, live it! experience it! I can promise you he lived a more fulfilling and exciting life than you could ever imagine. Fought for our country in iraq, lost part of his right hand, extremely talented skydiver, wingsuiter, base jumper, and a friend to countless people.

                  Chase p

                  December 13, 2009 at 9:38 pm

                • I can promise you he lived a more fulfilling and exciting life than you could ever imagine.

                  Yeah, I’m sure Darrell Dunafon got to enjoy years of being happily married, having kids, seeing his grandchildren grow up etc.

                  Fought for our country in iraq, lost part of his right hand…

                  Very fulfilling. :P He sure did a lot of stupid things in his life… and by the sound of it… you’re walking right behind him.


                  December 14, 2009 at 4:03 am

  5. It appears to me we were quite restrained, considering Darrell went to a great deal of (illegal) effort to jump, not fall but voluntarily jump, onto a 12,000 volt live wire.

    Calling him a Darwin Award candidate is simply an accurate observation.

    Please be extra careful where you jump in future, Ms. Staffa.


    December 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    • [Edit: Unacceptable]

      Chase p

      December 13, 2009 at 6:03 pm

  6. Still love base jumping. But yes it is a dangerous sport and everyone who does it knows that!

    Sven "Base Jumper" Huckson

    August 17, 2010 at 2:44 am

    • Do yourself a favor and stay away from cell towers.

      Mr. Fusion

      August 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm

  7. The only difference between the ignorant people who comment on these things (even knowing that one of Buddy’s relatives was defending him–and you guys still continue to talk negatively about a dead friend–what is wrong with you people?), is that we all have survived our foolish risks we took when we were young. Calling Buddy ‘stupid’ for dying in an accident as a professional B.A.S.E. jumper is as ridiculous as calling any stuntman ‘stupid’ for dying at one of their stunts. Or someone skydiving and dying from a related accident ‘stupid’. Or I guess someone who was getting a risky surgery that they wanted and it went wrong must have been ‘stupid’ when they died. Coming from Baghdad, as a vet, following in the footsteps of his grandfather (also a vet, and a test pilot for the Navy), Buddy just liked a thrill. Let’s reconsider speaking ill of him while we don’t have the balls to B.A.S.E. jump.

    Darrell’s cousin,


    May 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    • Golly. Do you have the “balls” to play Russian Roullete?

      Which is why Darwin Awards make genetic sense.


      May 22, 2012 at 5:50 am

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