What Gerrie du Toit will remember most about her daughter Jean is her spirit of adventure, he says.
The 53-year-old died while skydiving with three others near Gimli, Manitoba on Saturday.
Her father, speaking to CBC News from Arizona, said his daughter was spiritual, regularly attending meditation retreats between her work in Manitoba’s film industry and her adventures abroad.
“She was rafting and … skiing, and at one point she went to Mongolia to ride horses in the desert,” he said.
“That’s what kept him sane and kept going. »
Jean du Toit was an experienced skydiver with more than 100 jumps, and his father said investigators told him on the day he died everything appeared normal.
“She was with other jumpers and they jumped out of the plane, and her parachute opened,” he said.
“And I think something like halfway through, she started spiraling out. The chute simply bent and she dived. »
Police were called to the Gimli Industrial Park around 7.30pm on Saturday.
When officers arrived, they found du Toit unresponsive on the ground, receiving medical attention from others present.
An RCMP officer began to help and paramedics arrived moments later, according to a police news release.
Du Toit was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators determined she was wearing all the proper safety gear and there were no issues with the plane, police said.
Du Toit was born in South Africa and first came to Winnipeg in 1987 on an exchange during her senior year of high school. She eventually moved here permanently.
Her father said she did freelance work for several Manitoba film production companies, which gave her time to travel.
Gerrie du Toit prepares to come to Winnipeg to settle her daughter’s affairs.
He is still in shock.
“Children aren’t supposed to die before their parents, you know? he said.
” I just convince myself that she went to do what she loved the most, and she’s in a better place now. »