HEADLINE – Skydiving quadriplegic plunges to death in Montana

SALMON, Idaho (Ass. Press) – A quadriplegic skydiver plunged 18,000 feet to his death because he was unable to manually deploy his parachute, authorities said on Monday.

Zack Fogle, 27, died Saturday afternoon just minutes after he was tossed from an airplane during a celebrated skydiving event in northwest Montana that drew scores of Montana parachutists, said Flathead County Undersheriff Skip Henderson.

Fogle’s physical disability likely interfered with his ability to activate his primary parachute. “He hit the ground from a fall estimated at 120 miles per hour,” Henderson said.

“Falling at that speed, he probably left a sizable impact crater,” Henderson added.

An examination of Fogle’s equipment showed no malfunctions, suggesting the skydiver inexplicably failed to reach up and pull the cord to deploy his parachute.

Skydivers can manually deploy reserve chutes mid-fall, but physical challenges probably resulting from being paralyzed from the neck down likely prevented Fogle from taking advantage of what is considered a last-ditch but fail-safe practice, said Henderson, a licensed pilot..

A Montana State police investigation is under way and will likely take weeks, agency spokesman Allen Whiteman said Monday.

According to the Montana Parachute Association, improvements in skydiving equipment and training are credited for an overall decline in Montana skydiving deaths, which are the highest in the nation. However, the rate of skydiver accidental and unforeseeable deaths among quadriplegics - paralyzed from the neck downwho cannot, for some reason, deploy their parachutes, is rising, but is expected to improve as Montana’s supply of quadriplegic skydivers declines.

“This is a problem that will, essentially, fix itself, given enough time,” Whiteman said.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/01/skydiving-quadriplegic-pl_n_915737.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl2%7Csec3_lnk2%7C82987

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9 Responses to “HEADLINE – Skydiving quadriplegic plunges to death in Montana”

  1. Need it will be unxplained deaths of hydrophobics learning scuba diving.

  2. [...] State of Montana!, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel . You can follow any responses to this entrance by a RSS 2.0 feed You can leave a response, or trackback from your possess [...]

  3. [...] State of Montana!, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel . You can follow any responses to this opening by a RSS 2.0 feed You can leave a response, or trackback from your possess [...]

  4. I am now fascinated by the Wilhelm Scream. Sounds like a cocktail. One day I shall go to Montana and ask for one.

  5. paulboylan Says:

    The odds are very good that you’ve heard the Wilhelm Scream dozens of times.

    And it does sound like a cocktail. I shall ruminate upon the formula.

    If you would like to hear it, go to http://www.archive.org/details/WilhelmScreamSample

  6. wildwesty Says:

    and why don’t they use automatic parachutes? OK, I have no idea about skydiving, but I know they exist.
    Once a co-pilot on a skydiving plane who had an automatic one. They are set so that they automatically open at a certain altitude. Well, they forgot to turn off the auto setting and it went off in the cockpit at the prescribed altitude! Needless to say, the plane crashed and both pilots died. I saw the “remains” afterward…. most of the plane was underground…. I saw a hand of the pilot (who I had talked to a few hours before) sticking out of the ground… :-(

  7. [...] State of Montana!, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel . You can follow any responses to this opening by a RSS 2.0 feed You can leave a response, or trackback from your possess [...]

  8. I’m guessing the last thing that went through Zack’s mind before he died was a wheel.

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