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Paratrooper dies after midair collision in DeLand


A parachutist was killed after a midair collision with another person in DeLand on Sunday, police said. Officials were called to DeLand Municipal Airport around 9:58 a.m. over a skydiving accident. Police said two paratroopers entered colliding with their parachutes open. Witnesses told authorities that one of the paratroopers was able to regain control of their parachute, but the other was unable to open it.The victim was identified as Carl Daugherty, 76. Witnesses tried to help Daugherty, but without success. Daugherty was a world-renowned skilled parachutist who had been associated with the region longer than anyone can remember. He was retired but started working there about 10 years ago. “It was a real kick in the stomach for all of us,” said Bob Hallett, owner of Skydive DeLand. Hallett said the location was the victim’s home. His colleagues and other paratroopers, family members and Daugherty can be seen together after winning an award from the Growing Bolder Multimedia Organization. He was the director of safety and training for Skydive DeLand and recently made his 20,000th jump. Daugherty and seven friends were on a fun jump on Sunday when his parachute collided with another, briefly becoming entangled. The other parachutist’s parachute retained its shape and it landed safely, but Daugherty fell quickly between 2-500 feet in front of horrified witnesses.The survivor was also very experienced, and although there was some wind on Sunday, Hallett said it was not. “It’s hard to blame, it’s a big sky. It’s a big sky up there, but we still manage to pass each other,” he said. arrived to see if there were any improvements to be made, but they really believe it was just a tragic accident.

A paratrooper was killed Sunday after a mid-air collision with another person in DeLand, police said.

Officials were called to DeLand Municipal Airport around 9:58 a.m. with a skydiving accident.

Police said two paratroopers collided in the air with their parachutes open. Witnesses told authorities that one of the paratroopers was able to regain control of their parachute, but the other failed to open it.

The victim has been identified as Carl Daugherty, 76.

Authorities said he landed hard in the parking lot and was found unresponsive. Witnesses tried to help Daugherty, but without success.

Daugherty was a world-renowned skilled parachutist who had been associated with the region longer than anyone can remember. He was retired but started working there about 10 years ago.

“It was a real kick in the stomach for all of us,” said Bob Hallett, owner of Skydive DeLand.

Hallett said the location was the victim’s home. His colleagues and other paratroopers, family members and Daugherty can be seen together after winning an award from the Growing Bolder Multimedia Organization. He was the director of safety and training for Skydive DeLand and recently made his 20,000th jump. Daugherty and seven friends were on a fun jump on Sunday when his parachute collided with another, briefly becoming entangled.

The other parachutist’s parachute retained its shape and it landed safely, but Daugherty quickly fell between 2-500 feet in front of horrified witnesses.

The survivor was also very experienced, and although it was windy on Sunday, Hallett said it was not strong enough to account for it.

“It’s hard to blame yourself, it’s a big sky. It’s a big sky up there, but we still manage to pass each other,” he said.

Skydive DeLand officials have said they will review everything that happened to see if there are any improvements to be made, but they truly believe it was just a tragic accident.

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