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STURTEVANT, WI — A skydiver practicing for a competition was killed after he experienced a hard landing at about 11:20 a.m. Sunday afternoon in Sturtevant.

The man was unconscious and not breathing adequately when his fellow skydivers removed him from the pond, according to a press release from Skydive Midwest owner Keith George.

A 36-year-old man from Tennessee, the man was preparing for the United States Parachute Association’s National Skydiving Championships for Competitive Canopy Piloting. The competition focuses on “a highly specialized discipline within skydiving in which advanced flight maneuvers are performed lower to the ground, usually using smaller parachutes designed for speed and performance,” George said in a statement.

Skydiver attempted a ‘high-performance landing’

The man, who had over 750 jumps, left the aircraft and deployed the parachute. All equipment functioned as it was designed to until the jumper initiated a move that deliberately induced speed called a “high-performance landing.”

“Fellow skydivers who also witnessed the event in its entirety stated his parachute was deployed, and he showed no signs of distress before, during, or immediately before landing,” the press release reads. “The other professional skydivers that witnessed the event believe he misjudged his angle of descent, which caused a ‘hard landing’ into the water.”

Racine County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on the scene within minutes of the call and took over life-saving measures. Union Grove-Yorkville Fire & Rescue arrived next on the scene and “continued vigorous resuscitation efforts,” according to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.

This incident is currently under investigation. Skydive Midwest is coordinating with authorities following this incident. The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification from the family.

George offered condolences in an updated release Sunday evening:

“Skydiving is a niche sport with a strong community of fellowship. The staff of Skydive Midwest mourn the loss of a fellow jumper and offer condolences to the jumper’s family.”

In an updated press release, the Racine County Sheriff’s Office offered their sincere condolences to the friends and family of the skydiver.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include the latest information from Skydive Midwest.


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