A Texas teenager died just one day before his 18th birthday after a skydiving accident in Colorado.
Dayton Bryant, 17, jumped out of a plane for the first time and was diving alone, according to the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said they responded to a field about seven miles east of Canon City on March 10, and soon pronounced Dayton dead, reported KDVR. A cause of death was not released, pending an autopsy.
He was diving with the High Sky Adventures company.
Dayton was on a trip out-of-state with his father, who wanted to create a special memory for his son.
“He was given the choice beach or mountains. Of course, he chose mountains,” Sunja Stevens, Dayton’s mom, told Fox 4. “He’s blaming himself. Unwarranted, of course. He refuses to leave Colorado without his son.”
The final photo of Dayton alive showed him suited and geared up, ready to dive.
“He asked me if I knew what kind of sky diving he would be doing. I assumed tandem. That’s when he told me about this type of skydiving called static line,” his mother recalled. “I was trying to be supportive of his celebration and what he wanted to do.”
For the first time in a while I feel so alive. The beauty of the Rockies is absolutely breathtaking. ???? pic.twitter.com/e9H92D4EZS
— Dayton (@BryantDayton) March 10, 2019
Plz pray for my family as I lost my cousin in a skydiving accident Sunday morning. He wanted to go for his 18th bday, and it was something he was looking forward to. We think his parachute got tangled, and he passed out. This was the last photo he took. Prayers are appreciated❤️ pic.twitter.com/Ymybf6e7IW
— Channing George (@ChanningJewels) March 12, 2019
The chief deputy for the Freemont County coroner’s office said that the death was ruled an accident and that it happened after Dayton’s parachute went into a spiral. There were no faults in the equipment, the deputy said.
Dayton, a senior at Azle High School, was slated to graduate in May.
He was part of The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps.
“Dayton was a valued member of The Cavaliers Tuba section whose time with us was far too short,” states Michael Vaughn, corps director, in a statement.
Today we tragically lost one of our brothers, Dayton Bryant."Dayton was a valued member of The Cavaliers Tuba section…
We are heartbroken to announce the loss of a member of the Guardians family. Dayton Bryant (2016 Contra, 2017 Drum…
“He was a positive, polite, and humorous young man who made all of us smile. As he prepared for the 2019 season, he shared this bit of advice with prospective Cavaliers: ‘Be hungry, fight for your spot, and don’t apologize. Be fearless and dare to dream.’ The Cavaliers are honored to play a part in Dayton’s dream. His tragic passing has left a void in our hearts.”
Dayton also drummed with the Guardian Drum and Bugle Corps.
“We are heartbroken to announce the loss of a member of the Guardians family. Dayton Bryant (2016 Contra, 2017 Drum Major) tragically passed away this weekend, far too soon. Dayton was an incredible young man who inspired many of our former and current members and showed them what it meant to be in a drum corps,” the corps said in a statement.
“We cheered him on as he accomplished so much this past year, and were excited to see him live his life to the fullest. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Dayton’s family, who had as much of a tremendous impact behind the scenes as Dayton did as a member. Rest in peace, our friend. We miss you. Happy birthday. We’re up in the woods. We’re down on our minds. We’re building a still, to slow down the time.”