‘Well-respected member of the skydiving community’ with 17,000+ jumps dies in skydiving accident in Chester County

Officers said the man landed at James F Wherry Road and Darby Road in Chester County
Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 3:21 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - An elderly man, who was said to be an experienced jumper, died in a skydiving accident in Chester County Saturday afternoon, according to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies and emergency responders were called to the scene around 12:30 p.m.

Officers said the 73-year-old man was skydiving at Skydive Carolina. He landed at James F Wherry Road and Darby Road in Chester County.

His identity has not been released.

However, officials with Skydive Carolina said the man had more than 17,000 skydives.

Skydive Carolina owner Danny Smith said the man was pronounced dead following what would be considered an “uneventful skydive.”

Smith said witnesses didn’t notice anything usual about the freefall and the skydiver deployed his parachute without incident, and it didn’t appear that there was any abnormality or malfunction with the parachute. Observers did notice the skydiver landed outside of the normal landing area, prompting personnel to check on the jumper, and that’s when the skydiver was found dead.

“The deceased is a highly experienced skydiver with decades of experience to their credit and a well-respected member of the skydiving community,” Smith said. “Skydive Carolina’s personnel and community are saddened by the sudden loss of a respected member of our community.”

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This is at least the third skydiving accident at Skydive Carolina within the past 18 months.

In June 2020, a Florida man, 20-year-old Justin William Swaggerty, was killed in a skydiving crash.

Two months later, a skydiver was injured at Skydive Carolina after landing in a tree.

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