Man injured in skydiving accident near Whitewright

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WHITEWRIGHT, Texas -- A Dallas man has been upgraded to stable condition and is talking after a skydiving accident Sunday afternoon.

A man spiraling down from the sky. That's what neighbors tell us they saw Sunday afternoon near Whitewright. A 54 year old software engineer from Dallas was rushed to the Medical Center of Plano after a day of skydiving took a dangerous turn.

"I hope the man recovers and makes it," said landowner Jack Bartley.

The Fannin County Sheriff's Office says witnesses told them once the group jumped, the man bumped into another person and started spinning. They say both of his parachutes deployed but became tangled. He hit the ground in Jack Bartley's field just north of Bartley Road.

"We saw neighbors walking into our field and we were wondering what was going on," said Bartley.

Bartley says he walked over to the crash site to see what had happened. "Come to find out someone had hit the ground, hard," said Bartley.

First responders told him to stay back and he could see why.

"I understand he may have went into cardiac arrest," said Bartley. "They worked with him for several minutes and they finally got him into the helicopter."

Skydive Dallas says the man had 13 years of experience and had jumped 650 times. Bartley says while he's never seen an accident happen, skydivers safely land near his home a lot.

"Oh yes, they miss their mark every once in a while," said Bartley.

He says it's fine if they do. "If it's a life or death situation I don't mind."

Skydive Dallas says the FAA and The United States Parachute Association are looking into the crash. The man's name has not been released.

In 2014, the United States Parachute Association reports its members reported 729 skydiving injuries out of roughly 3.2 million jumps nationwide. That’s roughly 2.3 injuries per 10,000 skydives.

An injury, according to the USPA's director of safety and training Jim Crouch, is defined as anything requiring medical attention.

Crouch said he equates skydiving to driving a car. "Follow the rules of the road and you generally get where you are going without a problem."

Crouch, who has made 5,000 jumps throughout the U.S. in 23 years, said generally skydiving accidents occur when someone doesn't follow best practices.



 
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