Two skydivers die in 'tragic accident' in Mesquite

Two skydivers, one in her 70s, died in Mesquite after their parachute failed to open properly Sunday.

An instructor and student jumped in tandem just before noon, and their main chute did not deploy, Mesquite police said.

The instructor opened a backup parachute, but it was tangled and only slowed the pair minimally before they struck the runway at the Mesquite Municipal Airport, police officer Jeffrey Smith said.

Skydive Mesquite owner Brad Jessey called the event a "tragic accident." He said his business will be closed today and Tuesday while the Federal Aviation Administration begins its investigation, and he is unsure what will happen next.

The instructor, who was in his 60s with 30 years of skydiving experience and nearly 11,000 successful jumps, died at the scene. The 71-year-old student was transported to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Four or five other tandem groups who also participated in the jump landed safely, Smith said.

The Clark County coroner's office is expected to release the victims' names today after notifying family.


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