Device credited for saving freefalling skydiver

Brian Binder knocked out in mid-air

SAN DIEGO - A local man injured in a skydiving accident Sunday is crediting a special device for saving his life as he plummeted from the air.

Brian Binder, an experienced skydiver with more than 1,000 jumps under his belt, hit another skydiver in freefall at nearly 120 mph at about 7:35 p.m. Sunday.

Binder was unconscious, but he credited his survival to a device known as the Cypress, which calculates a skydiver's speed of descent versus altitude. If it is not right, the secondary chute automatically deploys.

Witnesses told 10News Binder regained consciousness after hitting the ground. When medical crews arrived, he was complaining of a sore back and legs.  

Binder was released from the hospital Monday with no broken bones or other serious injuries.

On his Facebook page, Binder posted, "At some point I hit someone's foot with enough force to knock me out. I fell unconscious until my Cypress fired and my canopy landed me in the only clearing on the side of a hill."

Buzz Fink, the owner of Skydive San Diego, told 10News Binder skydives there nearly every weekend.

When asked if Binder will dive again, Fink said, "Yes, he will be diving again. He had no injuries as far as no broken bones."

The second man involved in the collision was not at the scene when firefighters arrived.

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