Family Watched as 18-Year-Old Skydiver Plummeted to Death

Skydiving deaths are rare
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2016 4:14 PM CDT
Family Watched as 18-Year-Old Skydiver Plummeted to Death
The parachute, center, deploys during a tandem jump from 7,000 feet in the air.   (AP Photo/Journal Times, Mark Hertzberg)

One of the two skydivers who was killed in California on Saturday after a parachute didn't open during a tandem jump was an 18-year-old first-time jumper who had family members watching from the ground as he plummeted thousands of feet to his death, the AP reports. The other victim was a man in his mid-20s who was an instructor and had completed some 700 jumps, says Lodi Parachute Center Owner Bill Dause. One of the victims—neither have been named as of yet—was from another country, Dause says.

Authorities say that it appears the men's chute did not deploy until after they hit the ground in a vineyard near the skydive center, reports USA Today. The FAA will investigate the accident, according to reports. According to the United States Parachute Association, of an estimated 3.2 million jumps in 2014 there were 24 fatalities, or 0.0075 deaths per 1,000 jumps. Fatalities associated with tandem jumps were even fewer, with 0.003 per 1,000 tandem jumps. (More California stories.)

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