‘Experienced jumper’ dies while skydiving in Chester County, SC, authorities say

·2 min read

A 73-year-old man who’d skydived more than 17,000 times was pronounced dead after a landing in Chester County, S.C., on Saturday, the company where he was skydiving said.

The man, who was at Skydive Carolina, landed at James F. Wherry Road and Darby Road, Charlotte Observer news partner WBTV reported, citing the Chester County Sheriff’s Office. That’s near Oliphant Lake.

In a statement late Saturday, Skydive Carolina said witnesses “noticed nothing unusual about the free fall, and the skydiver deployed their parachute without incident.

“Once the parachute was deployed, witnesses didn’t notice anything unusual about the parachute’s performance that would indicate any abnormality or malfunction,” according to the company statement.

The man “landed outside of the normal landing area, prompting personnel to check on the jumper,” Skydive Carolina management said. “Upon arriving at the jumper’s landing position, the individual appeared to be deceased.”

The skydiver had “decades of experience” and was “a well respected member of the skydiving community,” company officials said. “Skydive Carolina’s personnel and community are saddened by the sudden loss of a respected member of our community.”

The skydiver died at about 12:30 p.m., according to the company. His name will be released once his family is notified, officials said.

The sheriff’s and coroner’s offices didn’t release details on Saturday about what happened.

The death was the sixth at Skydive Carolina in eight years, according to WCCB.

At least three skydiving mishaps have occurred at Skydive Carolina in a year-and-a-half, WBTV reported.

In June 2020, 20-year-old Justin William Swaggerty of Florida was killed skydiving, according to WBTV. Two months later, a skydiver was hurt after landing in a tree, WBTV reported.

In July 2019, 34-year-old Amie Jessica Begg of Charlotte died skydiving at Skydive Carolina, Fox46 reported at the time.

This is a developing story.

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