Logout|My Dashboard

A man dies after BASE jumping near Matfield Green - Emporia Gazette: Latest News And Features

A man dies after BASE jumping near Matfield Green

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 11:35 am

A Tecumseh man, who had a parachute pack on his back, climbed up a 393-foot communications tower — about seven miles east of Matfield Green — on Saturday and jumped off, but his parachute failed to deploy before he hit the ground, east of the tower.

Frank Hubbell, 50, died at the scene from the trauma of the impact with the ground, said Chase County Sheriff Richard Dorneker.

Bill Hubbell, Frank’s brother, said he was supposed to check in with him, but he did not check in.

“I called his cell phone, and it went straight to voice mail,” he said.

After a period of time, Hubbell said he called the Chase County Sheriff’s Department to have officers search for his brother.

“He was participating in a risky activity, and he understood the risks,” he said.

Frank Hubbell attempted to BASE (Building, Antennae, Span, Earth) jump from the tower before he died.

Frank did about 150 BASE jumps before Dec. 29, Bill Hubbell said.

“As far as what led him to it, it was the thrill,” Hubbell said. “Why do people do extreme skiing or climb Mount Everest? It’s the thrill and excitement that they are looking for.”

He said the thing that he remembered the most about Frank is just the way he touched people.

“He’s the kind of person who would go out of his way to do anything for anybody,” Hubbell said. “He was a devoted father and husband.”

Jen Sharp, who was a close friend of Frank for about 10 years, said there are a lot of people that are mourning for him.

Hubbell said the funeral service for Frank is 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Most Pure Heart of Mary Church in Topeka.

Heartland Tower Inc., which owns the tower, would not comment about the incident.

Dorneker said he was not aware of any other instance of someone base jumping from the tower.

“I spoke with individuals who grew up here, and this is the first for anybody to hear of a base jumper doing something in Chase County,” he said.

Dorneker said the investigation is still ongoing.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • BigRed posted at 8:30 pm on Sun, Jan 13, 2013.

    BigRed Posts: 56

    I'll give him this much, he died doing what he loved. I'll probably die sitting behind a desk in my ofice

  • jaholder posted at 10:01 pm on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    jaholder Posts: 1

    Birdfeathers, your friend married an idiot. Hope she has better luck the second time.

    Iritchey, it breaks my heart when people cannot speak the truth without being labeled insensitive. This fool made the decision between taking deadly risks versus living for his family.

  • lritchey posted at 6:08 pm on Thu, Jan 10, 2013.

    lritchey Posts: 1

    Breaks my heart to read such insensitive comments. Very disappointed in the lack of empathy. God's blessing be with his precious family.

  • Birdfeathers posted at 4:21 pm on Thu, Jan 10, 2013.

    Birdfeathers Posts: 10

    This was my friends husband, it is very tragic. Blessings to the family

  • TeeIvy posted at 6:26 am on Mon, Jan 7, 2013.

    TeeIvy Posts: 1

    Everybody is so nice here..(not) somebody died so extend some kindness and grace

  • Hightaxes posted at 7:38 pm on Sat, Jan 5, 2013.

    Hightaxes Posts: 49

    Probably looked similar to this

  • DF STAIR posted at 4:53 pm on Fri, Jan 4, 2013.

    DF STAIR Posts: 152

    In the words of Butch and the Sundance Kid; OH SHIIIIIIITTT !![scared][thumbdown][thumbdown]

  • bluebonnet posted at 4:34 pm on Fri, Jan 4, 2013.

    bluebonnet Posts: 43


  • bluebonnet posted at 4:32 pm on Fri, Jan 4, 2013.

    bluebonnet Posts: 43

    Can't fix stupid, not even with duct tape...[wink]

  • BigRed posted at 2:12 pm on Fri, Jan 4, 2013.

    BigRed Posts: 56

    If at first you don't succeed, BASE jumping is not for you.
    My condolences to the family.

  • mslater posted at 1:05 pm on Fri, Jan 4, 2013.

    mslater Posts: 89



Most Popular / Most Commented

Online poll

Follow us on Facebook


Featured Events