Skydiver dies after parachute gets tangled in San Joaquin County

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Skydiver dies after parachute gets tangled in San Joaquin County

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A woman died in a skydiving accident Saturday near Lodi, Calif., after her parachute became tangled and failed to deploy as she fell to the ground, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.

The accident occurred about 2:30 p.m. at the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center, Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Goucher said. The victim has not been identified.

“The information I gathered is that her parachute was somehow tangled,” Goucher said.

The incident is being investigated by the San Joaquin County Office of the Medical Examiner and the Federal Aviation Administration.

In a statement, the FAA said it does not investigate the cause of skydiving accidents and will limit its review “to inspecting the packing of the parachute, reserve parachute, and rules of flight for the pilot and aircraft.”

The fatal accident comes just a month after a judge ordered the parachute center’s owner to pay $40 million to a Merced County family whose 18-year-old son died in a 2016 parachute accident.

Paul Van Der Walde, the attorney representing the family of Los Banos resident Tyler Turner, said the multimillion-dollar penalty was significant not only because of the amount, but also because it specifically targeted the owner, Bill Dause.

Van Der Walde and the Turner family sued Dause alleging negligence. Tyler Turner and the skydiving instructor he was jumping in tandem with died on Aug. 6, 2016, near the skydiving center. Turner was attached to the instructor by a harness. They plummeted 13,000 feet to the ground when the instructor could not get their parachutes open.

“He [the instructor] was still under a probationary period when they did the jump,” Van Der Walde said. “And he did not have the appropriate emergency training.”

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Tyler Turner’s death was one of nearly two dozen fatalities at the center since 1981, Van Der Walde said.

The Tribune News Service contributed to this report.

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