An Army Ranger was found dead on the ground with parachute cords wrapped around his neck after a routine training jump in southeast Georgia—and commanders hope an investigation will reveal what went wrong. The fatal jump occurred yesterday afternoon as Rangers stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah conducted parachute drills at a training range on nearby Fort Stewart. "We're not sure what caused the parachute to do this," says an Army spokesman. "It's something we've never seen before." The soldier's name is being withheld until relatives are notified.
The soldier's parachute appeared to deploy normally during the jump and nothing seemed amiss until he landed and wind filled the parachute's canopy—dragging him about 350 feet along the ground. By the time fellow Rangers reached the soldier, he was unconscious with parachute cords and canvas straps from the harness wrapped around his neck. Soldiers cut away the cords but were unable to revive him. Officials are trying to determine if the soldier became entangled in the air or after he hit the ground. Even wearing a helmet, says the spokesman, it's possible he was knocked unconscious after landing and got twisted in the cables as the parachute began to drag him. (Read more Savannah stories.)