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Vernon  

Remembering stunt-rapper

Chantelle Deacon

UPDATED: 2:59 p.m.

Struggling to find the words through her emotions, Kali James, the wife of Jon James McMurray fought back tears while she spoke of her husbands legacy.

The 26-year-old model married Jon, a stunt-rapper, two years ago and says she fell in love with him the moment she met him.

"He taught me about the music industry. I was just a Playboy model when I met him," James said. "He's just super chill, he didn't judge anybody, people loved him and gravitated towards him."

"Girls love him, everyone loves him. He's just a loving person and he would never wish ill on anyone and he would never talk down to anyone. He didn't believe in negativity."

James died tragically while performing an airplane stunt that included rapping while walking on the wing.

"He had trained intensely for this stunt, however, as Jon got further out onto the wing of the plane, it caused the small Cessna to go into a downward spiral that the pilot couldn’t correct," said his manager, Ryan Desrochers, in an email. "Jon held onto the wing until it was too late, and by the time he let go, he didn’t have time to pull his chute. He impacted and died instantly."

Tributes are pouring in for the musician across social media.

"My bestie... I can't even believe I'm having to write this, my heart is so heavy," said Briana Nisbet in an Instagram post. Nisbet, who is a very close friend of Jon's said he died doing what he loved.

"From the moment we met we connected instantly and I knew you'd be a friend for life. You have no idea how much you have touched my life and those close to you. Even in my darkest days, you saw the best in me and always made sure I knew what I was capable of."

"You are the brightest light and will forever be my angel."

Born in Calgary, Jon grew up skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He was a professional skier with multiple 'world firsts' to his name.

"Jon was the first skier ever to backflip on and backflip off a rail, he was known as one of the most innovative skiers during his time on the snow and respected by the best skiers in the world," said Desrochers in an email.

Jon decided to retire from professional skiing after sustaining multiple serious injuries and pursued a career in music.

"He poured his ambition for life into his music and relentlessly worked toward advancement in the music industry. Jon earned his way to the stage and loved to perform at large events like Center of Gravity alongside some of the biggest names in hip-hop," Desrochers said. "His passion for making music videos and performing stunts were combined and Jon pushed music in a new direction that was unchartered territory."

Jon is survived by Father Doug McMurray, Mother Jen McMurray, brother Jarred McMurray, wife Kali James McMurray, and countless close friends and fans alike.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the musician.

"This fund is to help his people get his stuff out there to the world in the right way. This fund will also help with Jon James’s celebration of life.

YouTube Jon James | Recording Artist

UPDATED: 12:47 p.m.

Ryan Desrochers the manager for Jon James McMurray who tragically died in a plane incident near Vernon has clarified what happened Saturday afternoon.

In an exclusive email sent to Castanet, Desrochers says, "He died filming for a project he had been working on for months. His final act included performing an airplane stunt that included rapping while walking on the wing."

"He had trained intensely for this stunt, however, as Jon got further out onto the wing of the plane, it caused the small Cessna to go into a downward spiral that the pilot couldn’t correct."

"Jon held onto the wing until it was too late, and by the time he let go, he didn’t have time to pull his chute. He impacted and died instantly."

Jon died in a field in a community called Westwold between Vernon and Kamloops.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the musician.

"This fund is to help his people get his stuff out there to the world in the right way. This fund will also help with Jon James’s celebration of life."


UPDATED: 10:10 a.m.

Vernon RCMP have confirmed the death of a man involved in a 'parachuting incident' near Vernon on Saturday evening.  
 
Little details have been released but RCMP say the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation into this incident is on-going and the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP will continue to work with the BC Coroners Service and the Transportation Safety Board.

Friends of the victim have reached out to Castanet and confirmed Jon James McMurray died when his parachute failed to open after jumping from a plane.


UPDATED: 8:17 a.m.

Condolences are pouring in on social media for Jon James McMurray, a beloved recording artist who was well known across the Okanagan.

McMurray died in an accident over the weekend, while either wing walking or skydiving in the skies above Westwold — small community northwest of Vernon.

McMurray, from Calgary, currently resides in Los Angeles but often came to the Okanagan for events like Center of Gravity, to film music videos and to visit friends.

The 34-year-old musician was previously known as an extreme sports athlete, competing professionally in freeskiing.

"He died doing what he loved," a close friend of McMurray, told Castanet.

Castanet was told McMurray passed away while filming a music video in the community of Westwold, between Vernon and Kamloops. 

McMurray was known to thousands as a talented man with a free spirit and a desire to live life to the fullest.

More close friends and family are posting to his Instagram account.

"I can't live without you," said one woman.

"Woke up this morning hoping and wishing it was a dream," said another person. "I love you brother with all my heart, rest easy."

The cause of the incident is unknown at this time.


ORIGINAL: 5 a.m.

One man is dead after a skydiving accident Saturday.

Castanet received multiple reports of the incident, which occurred near the community of Westwold, roughly 60 km northwest of Vernon.

One person told Castanet they had seen a person falling through the sky, but did not see their chute open.

Another person reported to Castanet that she and her husband did see the incident and a chute was open.

"We saw two planes circling, one plane plunge and went into a roll and we saw 'something' falling out. After falling for several feet, a parachute opened and we realized it was a person. We thought it was a normal skydive as the parachuter sailed out of our line of vision towards a mountain."

Castanet was told the man landed in a farmer's field.

It's believed the man died upon impact.

The cause of the incident is unknown.

Castanet has contacted RCMP, but has not yet had a response to our questions.



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