Skydiver Dies After Collision

Skydiver Dies After Collision

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ERDA, Utah (AP) -- An Orem man was fatally injured in a skydiving accident in which he collided with another jumper, was able to open his chute but hit the ground hard. Scott Stephenson, 23, died early Monday of injuries suffered in the accident Sunday over Erda. It was not known whether the fatal injuries were from the collision with the other skydiver or from hitting the ground.

Tooele County Sheriff Frank Park said Stephenson collided with one of seven jumpers while attempting to join a formation, he said.

"Scott was the last one out of the plane and it was his job to catch up with the rest of the formation," said Park.

As Stephenson gained on the group, he slammed into the back of a 53-year-old skydiver at about 10,000 feet in what members of the group are calling a miscalculation, according to Park.

Both men were able to open their parachutes after the collision.

Stephenson made the correct turns and correctly navigated his way to the landing zone at the Erda airport, said Park. Witnesses said his body went limp when he had descended to about 50 feet from the ground and that he hit the ground hard.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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