Skydiving Accident Takes Life of 28-Year-Old Woman

She hit a big rig on a highway
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2019 6:33 AM CDT
Skydiver Crashes Into Big Rig and Dies
A stock photo of a skydiver.   (Getty Images)

As a group of seven skydivers descended near California's Lodi Airport on Thursday afternoon, something went terribly wrong. A 28-year-old woman died after she was apparently blown off course amid windy conditions that affected her open parachute, reports the Washington Post. She hit a big rig on a highway outside the airport and then landed in the road's shoulder. A woman says her father witnessed what happened on Highway 99, noting to KCRA he was "traumatized" by "the way the person was struggling, just struggling against the wind and their body was just moving really, really fast." The Modesto Bee cites an observer who said winds in the area were about 17mph at the time, "enough to ground light planes at the airstrip," per the paper.

Police haven't identified the woman beyond saying she was from Colombia. SF Gate reports her group took off from the Lodi Parachute Center, which has a checkered history: Between 1999 and 2018, 16 people who departed from the center died in jumps. The last fatality prior to Thursday's happened in October 2018, when a woman's parachute didn't open; she'd been using her own equipment. The Bee reports the center was raided by FBI agents in 2018; records, receipts, and video footage were seized. (More skydiving stories.)

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