In an unfortunate accident last weekend, local paragliding pilot James Pfrunder lost his life while participating in the annual Willi XC Challenge near Golden.

The accident occurred on day two of the challenge with other pilots witnessing the accident before Golden Search and Rescue responded by helicopter, lowering SAR technicians to the scene. Mr. Pfrunder was then transported via helicopter to Golden & District Hospital with doctors being unable to save his life. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

For Mr. Pfrunder, this was the third year in a row he participated in the Willi XC Challenge, and he was considered part of the paragliding family at Willi.

He leaves behind his wife, Zara, young daughter Odessa as well as a number of family and friends from inside and outside the flying community. Any excess funds generated from the Willi XC will be donated to Zara and Odessa.