Saturday 24 February 2018

Skydiver dies after hitting parked car in housing estate when her parachute fails to open

View of Shotton Colliery in County Durham Credit: Google Maps
View of Shotton Colliery in County Durham Credit: Google Maps

Tom Wilkinson

A parachutist has died after her parachute failed to open and she crash landed in a Durham housing estate, hitting a parked car, police have said.

The North East Ambulance Service said it received a call at around 3:45pm on Saturday to Shotton Colliery in County Durham.

The woman was found in a cul-de-sac close to the airfield at Shotton Colliery from where her plane had taken off.

The 49-year-old was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough by the Great North Air Ambulance in a critical condition.

Durham Police said the death will be investigated by police, the Health and Safety Executive and the British Parachute Association.

The coroner has been informed and a post mortem will be carried out.

Police said the woman, from Hebburn, South Tyneside, had jumped before but not in this country.

A witness, who did not want to be identified, was in his garden when he saw a group of parachutists jump out of their plane.

The man said the parachutist was not moving before she hit the ground, as she had her arms and legs spread.

"She looked as though she was unconscious. She was not screaming. All I can see is her spinning like a top."

The man heard the impact of her hitting the car, which he said was "an almighty clatter".

The man said a paramedic from the skydiving club was quickly on the scene.

Residents carried out CPR on the woman before paramedics arrived and then police also attended to carry out inquiries.

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.

"We will be working with the HSE and the British Parachuting Association to establish why this tragedy happened."

Press Association

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