Witness Who Saw California Skydiver Plummet to Death Says Parachute Got Tangled

A fellow parachutist who jumped with a woman who died during a parachuting accident on Saturday afternoon in California's San Joaquin County told the local sheriff's office that the victim's parachute becoming tangled.

At the center of the incident is the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center, which is in Acampo, a small census-designated place outside the city of Lodi. According to FAA data, there have been 22 recorded deaths at the skydiving school since it opened in 1981, nine since 2016.

The victim, identified as Sabrina Call, 57, of Watsonville, California, was characterized as a "very experienced" skydiver by the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Reports said officials received a call about the incident shortly before 2:30 p.m. local time on April 17.

"We're sad, but it's just like a car wreck or anything else. You have to go on," Bill Dause, owner of Skydive Lodi Parachute Center, told NBC affiliate KCRA in Sacramento on Monday.

KCRA also noted that Saturday's accident came one month after the center was ordered to pay $40 million in connection with a fatal jump there in 2016. During that incident, an 18-year-old was killed after his parachute didn't open. His instructor was determined later to have not been properly certified.

Other recent incidents at Skydive Lodi Parachute Center include a 28-year-old woman dying during a jump at the school after a gust of wind sent her soaring over nearby Highway 99. The Washington Post reported that a semi truck crashed into her, and she was pronounced dead at the scene on the shoulder of the highway.

Highway 99 tied into another event with the parachute center in 2006, when a parachutist struck a plane's tail upon jumping, causing him to land in a vineyard near the highway, the Chronicle reported. He later unsuccessfully sued for his resulting spinal cord injuries.

In 2012, a jumper died in a nearby vineyard after a failed jump. A 27-year-old also died from a failed jump in 2014 at the center, according to the Chronicle.

The FAA is investigating Saturday's incident and released a statement that indicated the investigations are not into any of the center's staff.

"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 statement read in part.

Newsweek contacted the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center for comment but did not hear back by publication time.

Parachute
A stock photo of an open parachute. A woman died last weekend at a skydiving center in California when her parachute allegedly became tangled. Getty