Boca Raton Man Killed in South Carolina Skydiving Accident
By: CRA News Service
An experienced Boca Raton skydiver was killed when he collided with another skydiver midair at a skydiving festival in South Carolina around sunset Saturday, authorities said.
Bond Springer’s body was found in a wooded area of Chester County not far from the Chester Municipal Airport around 8:52 a.m. Sunday, almost 14 hours after the team jump from an airplane went fatally wrong, according to news reports.
“Our community is saddened by the loss of a community member and choose to take this time to remember him quietly,” a spokesman for Skydive Carolina, a skydiving business in Chester, which sponsored the event, wrote in an email from the Charlotte Observer in response to a request for an interview.
The other skydiver, Avalon Wolf, 23, of Palmetto Bay, Miami-Dade County, deployed his main parachute and landed about 14,000 feet below. He was taken by EMS to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, South Carolina with a severe broken leg, according to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities could not locate Springer, 32, after no one saw him land. Searchers had to call off their efforts to find him as storms rolled into the area, and they resumed the search at 7 a.m. Sunday, according to The Herald in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Rescue crews located his body shortly after.
Both men were doing advanced wing suit maneuvers during the final day of the annual CarolinaFest, which featured specialized jump teams, when they collided in midair, the newspaper reported.
“Both skydivers in the incident were experienced and were executing advanced wing suit maneuvers,” Skydive Carolina said in a statement. “No malfunction is believed to have occurred with any equipment and all was normal leading to the collision.”
A wingsuit is a jumpsuit with sections of fabric or inflatables added under the arms and between the legs. The extra surface area may provide extra lift and slow the rate of falling.
The reports did not say whether Springer had tried to release his parachute, but equipment malfunction is not suspected as a cause for Springer’s death, according to Skydive Carolina. Neither drugs nor alcohol was listed as a contributing factor.
CarolinaFest is hosted by Skydive Carolina, which was established in 1986. The event attracts skydivers from around the world, according to the report from Skydive Carolina. This year’s event began May 31 and was scheduled to conclude Sunday at 7 p.m.