Only two days have passed since Sgt. 1st Class Corey Hood, and an Army parachutist, tragically passed away after he performed a jump at the Chicago Air & Water Show, and yet another skydiving accident appeared today in the news, when Joseph Crossley, an experienced jumper from Vermont, also lost his life.
The cause of death for the 68-year-old man, a veteran skydiver, was a hard landing in a field. According to authorities’ reports, Mr. Crossley was also an instructor at Vermont Skydiving Adventures, the company that conducted his jump. Preliminary investigations revealed his parachute was deployed at least partially, but further cause of why this happened is yet to be determined.
Two days prior to this event, a skydiving stunt gone wrong at the Chicago Air & Water Show resulted in the death of Class Corey Hood. The sergeant died the next after his accident. During the team performance, Hood crashed into a fellow Navy skydiver and was left unconscious by the collision.
Eye-witnesses claim that Hood’s emergency parachute opened, but being in an unconscious state, he couldn’t protect himself from drifting into a nearby apartment building before falling to the ground.
The event was explained by Jim Crouch, head of training and safety at the US Parachute Association. He told the Associated Press that there’s no cause for trouble if two jumpers collide while going in the same direction.
Meeting mid-air while going in different directions, however, is a dangerous scenario because the great speeds can cause severe injuries. If such a collision knocks a parachutist unconscious, he will just drift in the direction the parachute takes him.
So exactly how dangerous is parachuting? Well, according to the Golden Knights Alumni Association website, there are very few recorded fatalities since the team was founded. This goes to say that skydiving accidents are in fact a rarity in the United States.
Two recorded deadly incidents were reported, one in 1970, in Corpus Christi, Texas, and one in 1980, in Fredericksburg, Va. The website specifies, however, that deaths during training jumps have also occurred among the team’s members.
The number of military parachuting fatalities is an unknown statistic, but the United States Parachute Association website offers the record for civilian skydiving accidents. In 2014, 3.2 million people jumped, 24 of whom died and 729 suffered some sort of skydiving injuries.
During the last decade, 2008 stands out with the highest number of fatalities; 2.6 million jumps occurred, and 30 were fatal. Surprisingly, the next year after that boasts the fewest deaths, with just 16 fatal accidents out of 3 million jumps.
Image Source: Huffington Post