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  1. ITV Report

Skydiver and BASE jumper dies in wingsuit crash in French Alps

The 31-year-old skydiver died after crashing headfirst into a tree during a wingsuit jump. Credit: Morals Arrivederci/YouTube

Legendary skydiver and BASE jumper Alexander Polli has died in the French Alps during a wingsuit jump.

The Italian-Norwegian national crashed headfirst into a tree shortly after 11am on Monday while jumping in the Couloir Ensa near Chamonix, mountain rescue officials said.

His diving team immediately alerted emergency services but he died at the scene, NBC reported.

The 31-year-old captivated millions on YouTube performing cinematic stunts including gliding through a 'Batman Cave' in the Spanish mountains at 155mph after jumping out of a helicopter.

The World Wingsuit League said Polli's death was a "huge loss" for the community, adding his legacy "continues to inspire new generations of jumpers for years to come."

Although famed for his death-defying stunts, Polli said in a 2013 interview with the Deutshe Welle newspaper: "To be quite honest: I'm extremely scared of dying."

He said that he prepared for each jump adding: "I never went out there to risk my life."

To be quite honest: I am extremely scared of dying - and I am scared of heights. I never would have embarked on this kind of sport if I had had to be the first to do it. But in fact there were other parachutists, skydivers and BASE jumpers who'd been doing this for 20 years. So I just asked myself why can they do that and I can't? Is there something I really can't do or is it simply fear that is stopping me?

– Alexander Polli