Professional skier, musician and legendary stuntman Jon McMurray passed away on Saturday, October 20 in a wing-walking accident in British Columbia, Canada. He was 34 years old.
A ski-movie staple in the early to mid-2000s, McMurray—alternately known as McFly, McFee and half a dozen other nicknames—made a name for himself with outrageous stunts both off and on skis. He filmed several standout parts for ski production companies like Matchstick Productions, Poor Boyz and Level 1 before transitioning into a musical career frontlining the Canadian rock-rap act Loose Canon Playaz. At the time of his death, McMurray was living in Los Angeles and working as a musician under the name Jon James.
According to media reports, McMurray was filming a wing-walking stunt for a music video when the small plane being used went into an uncontrolled spiral. McMurray fell from the wing and was unable to pull his parachute in time. His body was found in a field near the town of Westwold, BC. The pilot was able to right the plane and land safely.
No stranger to living on the edge, McMurray had been involved in many risky stunts before. Multiple injuries incurred while skiing, including a broken back, had eventually led McMurray to focus on his musical ambitions, where he continued to make stuntsmanship a key feature of his music videos.
“He planned for everything. It should have been straightforward. It’s one of those things. We’re not really sure what happened,” McMurray’s longtime friend Rory Bushfield told Canada’s Globe & Mail. “Life is short, we all know that. He shone so bright. We know he knew the risks. He’s inspired us so much and will forever.”
Tributes to McMurray have been pouring in online as the ski community mourns the loss of yet another member. Jon James McMurray, you’ll be missed.
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The sun is not as bright today as it was yesterday when it was shinning on my homies last moments. Jon james Mcmurray, my very best, dearest and oldest friend passed yesterday evening in a skydive accident. He was living his ultimate dream, free and full. May he Rest In Peace. I’m gonna miss him so much. Thanks for all the lessons over the years fee. You where such a good man, you brought up everyone around you and I promise to try my best to live as free as you did. Take care of my girl Sarah up there homie. I love you. All my love to his family and people.
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We lost a legend this past weekend. I first knew @jonjames (also, McMurray, McFee, McFur, etc) early in the days of Level 1- when I was a hungry filmmaker hitching rides across North America, and he was a hungry aspiring pro skier with a ton of talent and youthful mischievousness that needed to be filmed. I hitched such a ride with McMurray, @chrisbiollo and @bushywayne across the West coast on our way to Powder’s SuperPark in the Spring of 2002, making a quick pitstop in Carson City, Nevada. The sleepy suburbs had the perfect mix of single story ranch homes and mature landscaping that the crew had been searching for- an ideal opportunity to climb up onto said roofs and flip off them, using trees and shrubs to lessen the impact of landing. The cherry on top was McMurray’s massive gainer, stomped onto and through a row of hedges as the angry and confused homeowner yelled that the police had been called. And we were off- peeling out through the neighborhood in Biollo’s early-90’s baby-blue Dodge Intrepid with 4 massive ski bags duct-taped to the roof- you could spot us from a mile away.