A 73-year-old man has died in a skydiving accident after he suffered a hard landing when his parachute didn’t fully deploy during his jump, police say.
The accident, which happened last Wednesday in Eloy, Arizona — approximately 70 miles south of Phoenix — when Terry Gardner, a 73-year Casa Grande resident, jumped from a plane at 12:04 p.m., his third jump of the day, according to a statement from the Eloy Police Department.
“Terry, accompanied by three friends and fellow skydivers, embarked on their third jump of the day from Skydive,” authorities said in their statement regarding the accident. “The group had planned a formation jump from an altitude of approximately 14,000 feet. While they were unable to complete the intended formation, it is not believed that this contributed to the accident.”
The other three skydivers all landed without any issues but, even though Gardner’s parachute deployed during the jump, officials said he encountered “unexpected complications” which ended up resulting in a “hard landing without a fully deployed parachute.”
“Eloy Fire personnel swiftly administered life-saving measures and rushed Terry to the Casa Grande Banner hospital,” said the Eloy Police Department. “Despite their efforts, he tragically succumbed to his injuries.”
Following an initial investigation, authorities remain uncertain if there were any issues with the parachute. A full investigation will be conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to determine the cause of the complications.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with all those who knew and loved Terry Gardner during this challenging time,” police said.
The investigation into the cause of the accident is currently ongoing.