Two skydivers were seriously injured early this afternoon during a jump in Eagleswood, police said.
According to the New Jersey State Police, instructor Jonei Hernandes, 46, of Skydive East Coast and his student, Kaitlyn Teixeira, 24, suffered the injuries when the pair fell to the ground.
Both were flown in an aeromedical helicopter from Eagles Nest Airport in Eagleswood to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center trauma unit in Atlantic City for treatment of undisclosed injuries.
Skydive East Coast co-owner George Voishnis said the pair, led by an instructor with 6,000 dives, dropped 30 feet to the ground after an “uneventful skydive.”
“The winds were not calm, but within limits,” he said in a telephone interview. “When they came in for landing, they fell the last 30 feet when their parachute collapsed, which is extremely odd.”
Voishnis, who says today’s incident was the first skydiving accident in the businesses’ four year operation, noted that collapsed parachutes sometimes happen within the industry due to a “roll in the wind (turbulence) that catches the parachute.”
The turbulence is “invisible,” he said, adding that he’s seen collapsed parachutes occur.
While a Federal Aviation Administration and State Police investigation is underway, Voishnis’ primary concern is the well-being of the pair.
“That’s what we’re focusing on,” he said.
The video below shows a parachute collapsing.