There is an affect that BASE jumpers describe called ground rush. This is the illusion that the ground is rushing up at you instead of you falling toward it. It is one of the main reasons that many people BASE jump. They describe it as the ultimate rush. The difference is they are acclimated to this rush while someone on their way to death isn't so the adrenaline mixed with their fear of impeding doom may be enough to cause them to pass out. Though i doubt they would die.