Acrobat Dies at FBR Dinner Event

January 29, 2009

Angel Vera Rodriguez, an aerial acrobat, died Tuesday night Jan. 27 after performing at a dinner before the FBR Open. Angel Vera, as he was known by, was attempting to land from a height of about 15 or 20 feet when he fell on his head, according to witnesses.

More than 700 people were attending the function at the Birds Nest beside the TPC of Scottsdale. He was 31 and based in San Diego. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Angel's friends and family," said John Felix, chairman for the FBR Open. "From all indications, this was a horrible accident." When Vera hit the ground, some attendees apparently thought it was part of his routine. But then it became obvious that he had been seriously injured. Doctors at the dinner treated him, then paramedics arrived. Vera was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Tuesday's function was canceled after word of the tragedy, but the Birds Nest--a popular party central-- was active again for the rest of the tournament with a photo of Vera, flowers and candles, placed next to the stage area.

--Bob Verdi