Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Skydivers die after chutes collide

Two skydivers have died after colliding in the skies above California (stock image)

Two skydivers fell hundreds of feet to their deaths after colliding over an airport in California.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department said the men's parachutes collided and deflated 300ft to 400ft in the air over Perris Valley Airport, sending both men hurtling to the ground.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene after the accident at 4pm on Thursday.

The sheriff-coroner's office identified the men as Patrick James McGowan of Menifee and Christopher David Stasky of San Diego, both 42.

Scott Smith, western regional director of the US Parachute Association, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper that Mr McGowan was a long-time instructor with Skydive Perris and had more than 17,000 jumps.

He added that Mr Stasky was helping Mr McGowan train parachute instructors for the Canadian military.

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