HOUSTON – A skydiving instructor has died due to injuries after a parachute failed to open during a tandem jump with a student in Waller County, representatives from Skydive Houston confirmed on Sunday.
The accident happened around 12:30 p.m. Saturday in a residential area in the 1600 block of Kitty Hawk Dr.
A witness who lives in the neighborhood said he saw the victims struggling with their parachutes.
“He let off his primary and then the secondary shoot like opened halfway up so he didn’t fall like a straight fall, he was like 50 percent shoot, like a corkscrew,” said witness Alex Arias.
Arias said he rushed over to help after the crash and found the male instructor unconscious, but said the woman was awake and asking for help.
Both were air-lifted to an area trauma center, where the instructor later succumbed to his injuries.
The female student’s injuries are considered non-life-threatening.
The company released a statement, in which condolences were expressed.
“Skydive Houston, along with the greater skydiving community at large, is deeply saddened by the loss of our tandem instructor and friend. Our sincerest condolences are extended to his friends and family. We continue to pray for a full recovery for the injured tandem student,” the statement read.
The statement also noted the rarity of such accidents.
“Skydive Houston has an excellent safety record, and significant injuries associated with tandem skydiving are extremely rare. Over the past 10 years, the United States Parachute Association has recorded one student fatality per 500,000 jumps, on average.”
Jump operations have temporarily been suspended, pending both local law enforcement and FAA investigations.