California Woman Plunges to Her Death After Parachute Fails Midair

A California woman plunged to her death Saturday after her parachute failed to properly deploy, officials said.

The experienced parachutist performed a jump at the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center, southeast of Sacramento, shortly before 2:30 p.m. when her equipment reportedly became tangled.

"What was reported to us from someone who witnessed the [incident] ... was that the chute failed to fully open as she was coming down and it was heavily tangled around her," the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office told KCRA.

San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sandra Mendez later confirmed to the Sacramento Bee that the woman had died after falling with tangled parachutes.

Mendez added that deputies arrived to find the woman dead at the scene.

According to the Sheriff's Office, it appeared her primary parachute and her backup parachute had tangled together.

The unidentified woman was reportedly a patron at the skydive center in Acampo and was said to be "very experienced."

The Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the incident.

"Federal Aviation Administration investigations of skydiving events are limited to inspecting the parachute rigging. The FAA does not investigate to determine the cause of the event," the FAA said in a statement to KCRA.

The death comes just one month after the parachute and skydiving center was ordered to pay $40 million in connection with another incident five years ago.

California teenager Tyler Turner fell to his death after his parachute failed to open back in 2016.

The 18-year-old died along with skydiving instructor, Yong Kwon, with whom he was jumping in tandem. The men plummeted 13,000 feet to the ground after Kwon was unable to get their parachutes to open.

It was later determined that his instructor was not properly certified and, in March, Turner's family were awarded a $40 million judgment against the owner of the skydiving school center.

After the multimillion-dollar penalty was awarded, Paul Van Der Walde, the attorney representing the Turner's family, said: "He [the instructor] was still under a probationary period when they did the jump. And he did not have the appropriate emergency training."

Tyler's mother, Francine Turner, said at the time of the incident: "Before he got on the plane, he knelt down and prayed, made his peace with God, and then turned around and gave me a great big, huge hug. He said, 'I love you, mom,' and then he got on the plane."

Since 1999, at least 17 others have died jumping from planes that took off from that center, according to KCRA.

Newsweek has contacted the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office, the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center and the Federal Aviation Administration for comment.

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File photo: A member of the Army parachute team seen in the air in West Point, New York. A California woman plunged to her death after her parachute failed to properly deploy, officials said. Mike Lawrie/Getty Images