Fatal mishap behind them, skydivers return to air
ELOY, Ariz. — Skydivers from around the world returned to the air on Wednesday at a popular Arizona skydiving location that was the site of a deadly mishap involving two parachutists a day earlier.
Two skydivers were killed on Tuesday when they collided during a jump, collapsing their parachutes and sending them plummeting to the ground. The men — one from the United Kingdom and another from Germany — were among about 200 people trying to set world records for group jumps.
Participants met on Wednesday and decided getting back in the air was the best way to pay tribute to their friends.
“Of course, it makes me a little nervous, but this kind of thing happens. That's the price of skydiving,” said Evgenii Dolgopolov, of Moscow, who witnessed the accident. He planned to jump again on Wednesday.
“This kind of thing happens sometimes, but it's very rare,” he added.
Witnesses told investigators that both skydivers had open canopies when they ran into each other 200 feet above the ground. The accident occurred about 4:50 p.m., said Sgt. Brian Jerome, an Eloy police spokesman. Eloy police identified the victims as Keiron O'Rourke, 40, of the United Kingdom, who had logged 849 previous jumps; and Bernd Schmehl, 51, of Germany, who was highly experienced, too, with 1,707 jumps.
The skydivers are in Arizona for Square One World Sequential Series 2013, a gathering aimed at setting numerous world records for group skydiving with participants from around the world. Registrants paid $2,050 to sign up for the event.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nurse who survived Ebola virus says Dallas hospital failed her
- Natural gas royalties lawsuit hinges on transaction date
- Lawmakers press Veterans Affairs for improved access to rural health care
- 2 W.Va. coal operators sentenced in scheme
- Cold, snow break February records in Northeast
- Dead dog found in pickup truck in icy river
- Deadly bacteria release spurs concern at Louisiana lab
- GOP senators pledge help if court bars health care law subsidies
- Homeland Security panned for passing on bio-threat technology
- No signs of deal on Homeland funding
- Astronauts complete extensive cable job in spacewalks