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Tags: skydiver | dies | parachute | doesnt | open

Skydiver Dies When Parachute Doesn't Open; Owner Suspects Suicide

By    |   Thursday, 31 July 2014 04:41 PM EDT

A California skydiver died Wednesday when his parachute failed to deploy, but the owner of the skydiving company speculated that the man may have committed suicide.

Thomas Steve Clark, 53, died after he fell into a field near Lower Otay Lake.

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Buzz Fink, who owns Skydive San Diego, told Fox 5 that Clark's parachute didn’t open, but said all of his company’s parachutes have an automatic opening device on them that would deploy the parachute if the skydiver failed to do so.

Fink said someone would have to intentionally turn off the device — and that "we believe that was turned off" — and told Fox 5 that Clark was going through a divorce and had been depressed.

“I have known him at least 15, 20-years. It’s tough to see someone so depressed that they are willing to take their own life,” he told the news station.

Skydiving accidents have killed about 55 people every year since 2010, and from 2005 to 2009, killed more than 60 every year, according to Dropzone.com.

In March, another skydiving accident occurred in the same area in California, killing instructor Jordan Janway, 27, whose parachute didn’t deploy when he jumped with a group of students.

Another skydiving accident Wednesday put a New York skydiving instructor in critical condition and killed the man jumping tandem with him.

The accident that injured Christopher Scott, 28, and killed Gary Messina, 25, is still under investigation, but it’s suspected that a dust whirlwind collapsed the parachute about 75 feet off the ground, The New York Times said.

Messina’s father told the newspaper that his son had been jumping near his birthday for the last several years. He would have been 26 years old Thursday.

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TheWire
A California skydiver died Wednesday when his parachute failed to deploy, but the owner of the skydiving company speculated that the man may have committed suicide.
skydiver, dies, parachute, doesnt, open
319
2014-41-31
Thursday, 31 July 2014 04:41 PM
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