While a seemingly risky activity, individuals who choose to tandem sky-dive likely feel secure in their decision as they are assured they’ll be linked to a qualified instructor throughout the entire experience. A fatal accident is not part of the picture. Sources say nearly half a million people tandem dive in the U.S. per year, so why not?
Two families in New York are currently grieving the loss of loved ones after a sky diving adventure that went bad. A 49-year-old man and his 25-year-old instructor were killed in a tandem parachute jump earlier this month. The New York police department is investigating the cause of this fatal accident. If negligence is found to be involved, a wrongful death lawsuit may be an option.
The exact cause of this unfortunate accident is not certain. There is speculation that the instructor was knocked unconscious by the 49-year-old Manhattan realtor. Officials say it’s possible that when the parachute was deployed, the realtor’s head jerked back and hit the instructor, causing him to lose consciousness. This speculation is reportedly supported by a bruise found on the instructor’s neck.
If this is true, it is likely that the instructor was unable to deploy the second parachute steering toggle, which caused the two men to spiral downward to their deaths. Those watching the accident confirmed that the parachute itself had opened properly, but suddenly turned right and kept going until it eventually crashed.
With the instructor already unconscious, there is no way the older man would have been able to take control of the situation. Experts say he wouldn’t have been able to reach the toggles.
While rare, a fatal accident like this affects the lives of many. Friends and family lose a loved one they can never replace. If another’s negligence is the cause, they deserve to be compensated for their losses and sufferings.
Source: New York Daily News, “Parachute jumper may have accidentally knocked out his instructor during leap,” Barry Paddock, June 19, 2012