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Man dies in parachute accident

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Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012 3:02 pm | Updated: 10:58 am, Fri Apr 6, 2012.

A man died Thursday after crash-landing in a vineyard off of Jahant Road while skydiving at the Lodi Parachute Center. The victim was identified Friday as William L. Calhoun, 71, of Novato, Calif.

Shortly before 2 p.m., San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies and Woodbridge firefighters were called out to Jahant Road, where a skydiver had apparently landed in a vineyard just west of the Union Pacific railroad tracks.

Paramedics arrived and attempted to perform CPR on the man for quite some time, but to no avail. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is unknown just what exactly caused the man’s death. His identity has yet to be released.

According to Ian Gregor, the Federal Aviation Administration’s spokesman, the parachute center notified the agency of the accident shortly after it occurred.

In this instance, Gregor said the FAA’s investigation will be limited to checking whether the parachute was properly packed by the appropriate person.

The FAA will have someone on-site this morning to review the parachute log and parachute packing card, Gregor said.

The San Joaquin County Coroner was out for several hours investigating the incident. According to San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Les Garcia, the identity of the man may not be revealed until tomorrow.

Those who apparently jumped from the same plane as the man stood out in the vineyard during paramedics’ attempts to revive the man.

When he was pronounced dead, they walked back to the railroad tracks, clearly shaken, their arms wrapped around each other.

The last fatal skydive to occur at the Lodi Parachute Center was in June 2010, when a woman in her 30s visiting from Belgium died after her parachute apparently failed to open when she jumped from the plane.

The woman also landed in a vineyard, just east of Lower Sacramento Road.

The parachute center attracts people from all across the world.

Skydiving enthusiasts usually save money, then camp out at the parachute center and spend their time skydiving — like a vacation.

Some of the center’s most recent visitors include the precision parachuting team from Qatar, who are spending 40 days at the center for training.

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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  • Joe White posted at 2:33 pm on Mon, Jul 2, 2012.

    sacramentojoe Posts: 1

    My friends and I were on our way down to Yosemite when we saw this incident occur. All the sky divers were on the west side of the freeway yet he was on the east side. Upon looking closer at the incident, we saw that the parachute somehow was tangled around his feet and you could see him struggling to get it his feet out of the parachute. We saw him crash land into the vineyard.. it was very upsetting to watch. RIP Mr. Calhoun !![sad]

  • Kim Lee posted at 5:08 pm on Fri, Apr 6, 2012.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    So sad. May you rest in peace, Mr. Calhoun.



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