A Boston resident sustained fatal personal injuries in a skydiving accident near Lake Elsinore, California, The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. The man was “wingsuiting” the afternoon of November 11, 2009 when he jumped from a De Havilland Otter aircraft and fell on to the driveway of a home near Murrieta. This renowned personality in the wingsuiting community claimed a national record earlier this week for the largest wingsuit formation. The newspaper report describes a wingsuit as “fabric stretched between a skydiver’s legs and from the arms to the torso to create a surface similar to an aircraft wing that resembles an inflatable mattress.”
Those who were there that fateful afternoon for a “relaxed sunset jump” say the man inflated his wingsuit too soon, which caused him to rise up and hit the tail of the aircraft. It is not clear whether he died before or after he hit the ground, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tragic Skydiving Accident
My heart goes out to the family, friends and fellow jumpers who must have been traumatized by this event. This man was a respected wingsuiter and an authority on the subject. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved this man. Please keep them in your prayers.
It’s going to take an in-depth investigation to determine exactly how and why this tragedy occurred. What we know for sure is that the man was by no means inexperienced. According to the report, skydivers must have at least 200 jumps in 18 months before they can try to fly in a wingsuit. Those who were involved in the record-breaking attempt this week had at least twice that much experience.
Skydiving Accidents in the United States
According to the United States Parachute Association, this man is the fifth person to die while wingsuit flying in the United States. Skydiving deaths are quite rare in the country. The U.S. Parachute Association reports that its members held 2.2 million jumps in 2007 and 18 deaths occurred nationwide. Still, skydiving is an extremely risky activity and every skydiver knows the inherent dangers and risks involved. That’s exactly why all skydiving facilities require participants — whether they are beginners or experienced skydivers – to sign waivers before they engage in the activity.
Very often, we hear about parachutes not opening or midair collisions between skydivers. In this particular case, it appears that this man and his fellow divers brought their own equipment. A lot of skydiving accidents occur because of jumper error, but it is important to look into other factors that may have played a part. Was the accident caused by a defective product or any equipment failure? Was there negligence on the part of the operator of the aircraft? In most skydiving cases, it is also important to look into the legality and fairness of the waiver or release that was signed before the victim made the jump. It is important that each case be examined independently and completely in order to make a proper assessment as to whether there was any negligence or wrongdoing involved.
An experienced California personal injury case lawyer familiar with skydiving and parachute product defect issues will be able to analyze all aspects of a skydiving accident case and make sure the victim’s and the family’s legal rights are protected.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.