Acrobat's fatal head-first fall at FBR event a tragic accident

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Vera risked life to entertain thousands

SCOTTSDALE - He risked his life for years to entertain thousands and now there are new details about the acrobat who died while performing at FBR.

Police are investigating but believe the tragedy is nothing more than a terrible accident or a fluke, according to friends of the performer.

Tatyana Petruck, the owner of Arial Artistry Entertainment in New York says, "It was just a tragic accident." That is how she describes the death of one of her performers, 31-year-old Jose Angel Vera. She adds, "He was very professional, that's what made him happy to do."

While performing in front of some 700 people at a private FBR function hosted by the Thunderbirds, police say something went terribly wrong. Mark Clark with Scottsdale Police says, "This is most likely performer error some sort of miscalculation that caused him to lose his grip and fall."

Vera fell some 40 feet, police say, from a center chain where he was performing a solo routine he created himself. Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell was in the audience and immediately jumped to the man's aid with CPR.

Clark explains, "The chief was just one of many people who worked to save the performer's life. Unfortunately it was just an injury that was fatal."

Vera's troupe describes him as a perfectionist. They say he trained religiously and even set up his own equipment.

Petruck says, "It was nothing wrong with equipment, nothing wrong with rigging itwas nothing wrong with tent, nothing wrong with event it was just an accident."

Clark admits, "It was a very dangerous performance."

While this sort of entertainment is dangerous, these performers say they love what they do and will continue to do it.

Petruck explains, "It's our job. We love it. We chose to do ite ach chose to do because we love it."

Police are investigating and the medical examiner is also involved but no one suspects any foul play. All the FBR festivities are proceeding now as planned.