A U.S. Marine was killed over the weekend while on a vacation that his wife won on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Gunnery Sgt. Brandon McGraw, 33, and his wife Cherilyn McGraw were enjoying their prize vacation in Australia, when a skydiving accident instantly took the life of the Marine, according to NBC News on Dec.19.
McGraw was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics who found him after he crash landed from his jump. Complications during the descent caused the Marine to crash land.
The beginning of McGraw’s jump went fine, but he started to turn his parachute dramatically to the left and then to the right. The Marine’s jump continued this way until he eventually crashed into the ground.
McGraw was an experienced skydiver with more than “a few jumps under his belt,” reports Ian Matthews, an employee at Skydive Euroa, where McGraw was skydiving in Australia. This business has an excellent safety record and they've been in operation for years.
Cherilyn McGraw shared pictures on Facebook of the couple’s flight while on vacation, calling her husband, “my hero, my angel.” She also said that he was happy and doing what he loved to do more than anything in the world.
The contest that Cherilyn won on the Ellen show was called “Stuff Your Down Under Pants.” Ellen released a statement when learning about the marine’s death. Ellen said:
"I've been speaking with Cherilyn. And my staff has been in touch with her as well. She's asked us to help keep this private as she tries to deal with this unimaginable tragedy. I hope everyone respects that."