Woman parachutist in UK dies after tragic accident
A 49-year-old woman parachutist died after her chute failed to open and she crash-landed “spinning like a top” in County Durham, UK police said on Sunday. Witnesses described seeing the woman rapidly spiralling down to earth entangled in the canopy cords of her parachute before landing in a nearby Shotton Colliery housing estate.
The parachutist who crashed into a parked car had been “spinning like a top” as she fell to the ground, The Guardian reported, quoting a witness as saying. The as-yet-unnamed woman, from Hebburn, South Tyneside, was flown by air ambulance with critical injuries to hospital in Middlesbrough following the incident on Saturday afternoon. She later died in intensive care, police said.
The woman had jumped before but not in the UK, Durham Police said. Detective Inspector Dave Cuthbert said: “This is a tragic incident. The lady who has died was using her own equipment and was making her first sky-dive in this country, having previously made parachute jumps abroad.
Witnesses said the sky diver did not scream during the descent and had her legs and arms open prior to hitting a hatchback car, which was parked outside a detached home on a cul-de-sac on the outskirts of the village, about 400 metres from a skydiving centre based at Shotton airfield.
The woman was one of a group of parachutists who had taken off from the nearby airfield, the BBC reported.