Parachute and skydiving accidents can cause catastrophic injuries or even death. Often, such accidents occur, not due to jumper errors, but because of a cord defect, defective steering handles, improper packing, harness failure, or a poorly-maintained or defective parachute. The device is supposed to protect the jumper from a fall, but this is not the case for an experienced skydiver from Brooklyn, N.Y. who died after a recent parachute incident.
The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office said a skydiving accident just after 2 p.m. on April 20 caused the death of the 49-year-old Brooklyn man. Reports say the skydiver jumped from a plane that took off from Freefall Adventures in Williamstown. The victim and 15 others boarded the plane that flew from the Cross Keys airport. While descending from the plane, the victim’s parachute did not open as he drew closer to the ground. According to witnesses, he was spiraling as he was descending. The skydiver landed behind a yard in the 100 block of Tuckahoe Road.
Emergency crews who responded to the call found him unconscious. He was flown to Washington Township’s Kennedy Hospital, where he died about an hour later. The victim, who had 350 jumps under his belt, was wearing a wing suit that enables him to move forward while descending. It’s not immediately known whether the specialized suit contributed to the accident. Authorities have notified the Federal Aviation Administration, which will conduct an investigation as to the cause of the accident.
Skydiving accidents are not very common. When they occur, however, jumpers can suffer spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, paralysis, or even death. In many cases, accidents occur, not because of diving errors, but due to defective skydiving equipment or negligence on the part of the company that provided the service.
In an effort to defend themselves, skydiving companies usually claim that the injured jumpers knew about the risks involved and signed a release form. However, many accidents are, in fact, caused by faulty equipment and negligent services. Injured jumpers and/or surviving families should discuss their case with a personal injury attorney.