Veteran Skydiver Dies After Midair Collision

Ash White was jumping for fun, not for work, when he collided with another diver
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2011 10:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – A 40-year-old skydiving instructor collided with another jumper in a dive over Hawaii yesterday, knocking him unconscious and causing him to plummet to his death, Hawaii News Now reports. Ash White was on a "fun jump," a non-working first jump of the morning. Skydive Hawaii’s president witnessed the fall, and believes White’s injuries from the collision were likely very minimal, and that his life would have been saved by an automatic chute opener. The device isn't typical for veteran divers, and White wasn't wearing one.

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“He was not in control of his body. He made no visible attempt, that I could see, to open his parachute. It’s just a real sad, tragic situation,” the president said. The other skydiver landed safely, and suffered minor cuts around his face. Both divers were wearing helmets. White had made more than 12,500 jumps, and the other diver had 5,500 under his belt. Skydive Hawaii last had a fatal accident in October 2009. (Read more Hawaii stories.)

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