The skeletal trauma resulting from a fatal B.A.S.E jump: A case study showing the impact of landing feet-first under extreme vertical deceleration

Samantha K. Rowbotham, Soren Blau, Jacqueline Hislop-Jambrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The term ‘B.A.S.E jump’ refers to jumping from a building, antenna, span (i.e., bridge) or earth (i.e., cliff) structure, and parachuting to the ground. There are numerous hazards associated with B.A.S.E jumps which often result in injury and, occasionally, fatality. This case report details the skeletal trauma resulting from a fatal B.A.S.E jump in Australia. In this case, the jumper impacted the ground from a fall of 439 m in a feet-first landing position, as a result of a partially deployed parachute, under extreme vertical deceleration. Skeletal trauma was analyzed using full-body post mortem computed tomography (PMCT) and contextual information related to the circumstances of the jump as reported by the Coroner. Trauma to 61 skeletal elements indicates the primary impact was to the feet (i.e., feet-first landing), followed by an anterior impact to the body (i.e., fall forwards). Details of the individual fracture morphologies indicate the various forces and biomechanics involved in this fall event. This case presents the types of fractures that result from a B.A.S.E jump, and highlights the value of using PMCT and coronial data as tools to augment skeletal trauma interpretations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e20-e27
Number of pages8
JournalForensic Science International
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • B.A.S.E jump
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Post mortem computed tomography
  • Skeletal trauma
  • Vertical deceleration

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