Skydivers killed As Family Watches

Two skydivers were killed during a jump in Northern California Saturday morning, according to authorities.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the bodies were found in a vineyard in Acampo, about 30 miles south of Sacramento, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Randy Johnson said.

Johnson said the sheriff’s office got the call about the incident at about 10 a.m. (1 p.m. ET). Witnesses told NBC affiliate KCRA in Sacramento that they did not see a parachute open.

One of two skydivers killed was an 18 and jumping for the first time, and his family was there watching when he hit the ground, the owner of the skydiving centre and local authorities said Sunday.

San Joaquin County sheriff’s officials as of Sunday had not publicly identified the new skydiver or the skydiving instructor killed Saturday in Lodi, California, 136 kilometres east of San Francisco.

Bill Dause, owner of the Lodi Parachute Center where the two jumped from, told CNN affiliate KCRA that one of the victims was an instructor with 700 jumps of experience.

Witnesses said they did not see a parachute open.

“The parachute failed to eject properly. We have no explanation why,” Dause said. “The only thing it looks like is something may have gone out of sequence (and) that may have caused the problem.”

The wind and other conditions were “perfect” at the time of the jump, Dause said. “Conditions had nothing to do with it.”
An exact cause will be determined by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Dause said other skydivers at the center continued with their jumps after the incident.

“I am always liable but I am not concerned. We didn’t do anything wrong,” Dause told the affiliate. “It’s a love of the sport. You keep going.”

The incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The skydive center was in the news in May, when a small plane carrying 17 skydivers took off from there and landed upside-down after clipping a pickup. The worst injuries were minor cuts and scrapes.

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