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Skydivers collide, 1 man dies in Perris

April 30, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Russian man has died from injuries sustained during a skydiving accident in Perris.Investigators say the victim, described as an experienced skydiver, was involved in a multi-person organized jump when he collided with another skydiver Friday morning.

The collision occurred during a landing attempt at an estimated elevation of 40 to 50 feet.

"The jumpers were coming into landing and these two jumpers got too close to each other and hit canopies. One canopy was fine and the other one somewhat collapsed," said Dan Chenfeld, the manager of Perris Skydive Park.

Chenfeld said cause of the accident was likely operator error. There was no sign of malfunctioning equipment.

The victim was airlifted to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where he later died. Officials said he was attending a weeklong training camp for experienced skydivers who want tips on making multi-person jumps.

Veteran skydiver Brian Gilley said in multi-person jumps it is very easy accidents to happen.

"When you have a large group like this jumping they all end up at the same altitude under canopy. If one of them makes a turn in front of another one, that's all it takes," said Gilley. "It's like a car turning in front of you on the highway. You have to move fast and even that can cause you to make the wrong move."


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