Santa Barbara- S County

Parachutist Crashes Into Lompoc Bridge

Skydiver Received Major Injuries

Parachutist Crashes Into Lompoc Bridge

LOMPOC, Calif. - A skydiver from the Los Angeles area was taken to the hospital after being hurt in a parachuting accident.

It happened just before 11:00 a.m. Monday morning when a parachutist jumped with others out of a plane operated by Skydive Santa Barbara based at the Lompoc Airport.

KCOY 12 Central Coast News cameras captured video of the injured skydiver arriving by helicopter at Santa Barbara's Cottage Hospital.

The unidentified student skydiver crashed into the North H Street bridge not far from his landing zone at the nearby Lompoc Airport.

Strong, gusty winds may have been a factor in the accident.

"He was doing a regular jump like always", said Jessie Harrison from Skydive Santa Barbara.  "I guess because of the winds, whatever the reason may have been, he made a wrong turn and ended up crashing right into the bridge," Harrison said.

"We won't know exactly what happened until he gets out and tells us exactly what," Harrison added.  "Could have been a wrong turn, could have been the winds, could have been he just didn't know his direction."

Lompoc Police said instructors and witnesses told them the man's parachute was open at the time of the accident.
"I do know that he's from L.A.," Harrison said.  "He's a really good skydiver, really good person, he owns a restaurant, family, friends, he just comes every once in awhile, jumps here, has a good time but unfortunately today wasn't his day."

"If the winds get over at least 20 knots we won't be jumping," Harrison said.  "He came in today, big smile on his face, he was happy and everything, made my day, we had a great conversation and then you know tragedy strikes, things happen."

The injured skydiver's name has not been released.

The accident forced the temporary closure of the North H Street bridge so the man could be airlifted to the hospital.  The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Slideshow: Parachutist Crashes Into Lompoc Bridge

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