Lodi skydiver critically injured in crash-landing atop horse trailer

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A skydiver is in critical condition after his chute tangled  and he crash-landed atop a horse trailer at a lot near the Lodi Parachute Center.

The accident occurred shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday, according to Woodbridge Fire District Chief Steve Butler.

After the canopy failed to open, the skydiver plummeted onto a trailer at a company called The Trailer Specialist, off Highway 99 across the street from the Lodi airport. His identity has not been disclosed.

The Federal Aviation Administration will conduct the investigation of Thursday’s incident, said San Joaquin County Sheriff’s spokesman Dave Konecny. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said via email the agency will investigate whether the parachute was properly packed by the appropriate person.

A review of news stories shows that at least 14 people have died flying out of the Lodi Parachute Center since 1999.

The most recent was in May, when  veteran skydiver Matthew Ciancio, 42, of June Lake, died during a group jump in which he was wearing a wingsuit.

In August 2016, 18-year-old Tyler Turner of Los Banos and instructor Yong Kwon died when their parachute did not open during a tandem jump.

Their deaths led Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, to introduce legislation tightening restrictions for tandem jump concessions.

Assembly Bill 295 would require operators to follow federal law for tandem jumps and would allow state and local officials and the general public to take non-compliant operators to state court. The bill has passed both houses and is on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

Eggman said in February she is disappointed with the enforcement of federal regulations at the center. The FAA has twice levied fines against the facility for maintenance and operations issues, but the fines apparently went unpaid and the owner was not prosecuted.

In May 2016, a Lodi Parachute Center plane carrying 18 people landed upside down in a vineyard. No one was seriously injured .

 

 

—2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

Visit The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) at www.sacbee.com

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