British Columbia

Musician falls to death from plane while wing-walking for video shoot

Jon James McMurray, originally from Calgary, died Saturday while performing the stunt above the B.C. Interior.

Jon James McMurray died Saturday while performing the stunt above the B.C. Interior

Jon James McMurray, who performed as 'Jon James,' was killed in a skydiving accident northwest of Vernon, B.C., on Saturday. He was filming a music video at the time. (Jon James/Instagram)

A professional rap artist and athlete has died after an airplane stunt for a music video went wrong above the B.C. Interior.

Jon James McMurray, 33, was being filmed wing-walking when he fell and died on Saturday.

His body was found in a field in the community of Westwold, northwest of Vernon, just before 7 p.m. PT.

On Monday, McMurray's management team released a statement on his death. It said he'd been training for the stunt for months.

McMurray planned to walk on the wing of a small Cessna plane while rapping for the video. During the shoot, he walked too far out on the wing and sent the aircraft into a downward spiral. 

The artist fell and didn't have time to pull his parachute. He died on impact.

The pilot was able to right the plane and no one else was hurt.

Athlete turned stunt-musician

McMurray, who was born in Calgary but lived in Los Angeles, made his rise in freeskiing. He switched from professional sports to music after a slew of injuries — including a broken back — more than a decade ago.

His management team said his love for extreme stunts has remained a pillar in his music career.

"His passion for making music videos and performing stunts were combined, and Jon pushed music in a new direction that was unchartered territory," the statement read.

His lifelong friend, fellow freeskier Rory Bushfield, posted a tribute to McMurray on Instagram on Sunday night.

In an interview,  Bushfield said he was lucky enough to get to know McMurray.

"[He] was the best, the most positive, bring everyone up around you, beautiful human being. He just never said a mean thing about anyone … his drive and passion for what he loved was like nothing you've ever seen."

"He was living his ultimate dream, free and full," wrote Bushfield, 35.

McMurray's management team said he was an "incredibly passionate person."

"He truly had a heart of gold. Jon would want to be remembered as a beacon of light."

McMurray leaves behind his wife, parents and brother.

The RCMP, B.C. Coroners Service and Transportation Safety Board are investigating his death.

With files from Brady Strachan

Read more from CBC British Columbia


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?