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Stuntman Harry O'Connor dies during aerial stunts for TRIPLE X, Now with added info

Father Geek here with some tragic news from the set of "XXX"...

Harry O'Connor, A well known California Skydiver and Stuntman, died while performing a stunt for the new Vin Diesel action film "XXX" in Prague, Czech Republic on April 4th. A retired former Navy SEAL he was currently enjoying his second profession as a Movie and Television Aerial / Stunt Coordinator. He had an extensive background and experience in the film and television industry including serving as the aerial skydiving coordinator for the CHARLIE'S ANGELS motion picture as well as performing stunts on THE PERFECT STORM and 1998's SOLDIER. Skydiving and flying had been his passions all Harry's life. He also loved backyard astronomy and captured many beautiful images digitally from his homebased observetory. He loved to share these images with anyone interested thru his website: SEAL Astronomy STUNTS He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Details from the the Czech News: Click Here To View Their Coverage

PRAGUE, April 4 (CTK) - U.S. stuntman Harry O'Connor, 45, died today shortly after midday during the making of an American action film, "XXX" in Prague, Iva Knolova of the Prague police said.

"He was being pulled at high speed on a paraglider and hit a pillar of the Palacky bridge. He died on the spot due to heavy injuries," Knolova said. The "XXX" production immediately imposed an embargo on any information for the media. Not even anybody from the stuntmen agency Filmka, cooperating with the film makers, could tell CTK anything.

"I cannot comment without the permission of the Stillking Films," Filmka chief Ladislav Lahoda told CTK today, confirming only that one of the U.S. stuntmen died. Stillking Films refused to make any comment either.

The police are now investigating whether the accident was caused by a technical shortcoming, or the breaching security rules imposed by the government on film crews.

"XXX" is being produced by U.S. Director Rob Cohen, and is mainly being made in the Czech Republic. The main castmembers include Vin Diesel and Samuel L. Jackson, the latter fairly well known here from Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown movies.

According to previous information made available to our paper, the script ought to tell a story of a professional sportsman in extreme sports who becomes a government intelligence agent. He, Diesel, has the task to destroy a Russian mafia gang. The Stillking Films company is one of the seven most significant film producers taking part in making foreign films in the Czech Republic.

Father Geek again with some disturbing additional info that was just sent in to me here at Geek Headquarters in Austin, Texas...

There were signs that something like this could happen on the set of XXX. Check out The Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2002, Page R12. There's an article called "The Director's Cut," by Bruce Orwall, interviewing Rob Cohen about the DVD for "The Fast & The Furious;" the second to last paragraph tells about how Cohen was already planning the DVD for XXX, being trailed everywhere by a digital cameraman/documentarian, and it reads:

"This time, he wants to be even bolder in capturing moments of drama on the set, especially the crew's reaction to the film's progressively more daring stunts. "I want to capture the night when [a stunt man] couldn't do it, when he was too afraid to do it," he says."

What happens to the career of a stuntman like O'Connor if he's documented on a DVD saying 'no' to his director? I'm very curious if this played a factor in this fatality. By the sounds of it, Cohen should be ashamed of himself.

"Alvin Fernald"

Here's a request from the family, as well as a thank you for your kind thoughts...

On behalf of the family I would like to thank you all for your kind words and concern. My uncle would also appreciate them. This is a tradgedy for our family and we would like to ask everyone out there to please not support anyone who trys to sensationalize this tradgedy.

Undoutably someone will come up with a tape and try to profit from releasing it on the net. So please do not support any site that shows the footage.

Thank You, O'Connor Family

Father Geek back once more. I received this note in my E-mail

The whole skydiving community sends out love and prayers to the family of Harry O'Connor... Blue skies forever...

The entire forum crew of

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