Parachutist death: Was the fall intentional?

JAMUL, Calif. - A parachutist was killed in a fall Wednesday morning in the East County.

The incident happened just before 11 a.m. at Skydive San Diego in Jamul.

According to Buzz Fink, the owner of Skydive San Diego, a man who had been skydiving there on a regular basis for the last 30 years was on a solo jump when the fall happened. He was identified Thursday as 53-year-old Thomas Steve Clark of San Diego.

Clark was well known in the skydiving community, but friends said he had been depressed. They said he arrived in the morning with some new gear but they wonder if he turned off a reserve automatic on his parachute because neither parachute deployed. It's unknown whether the fall was intentional or accidental.

This is the second deadly skydiving accident at Skydive San Diego this year.

Back in March, they lost one of their instructors, 27-year-old Jordan Janway, who died following a mid-air collision.

His body was found near Otay Lakes (outside of Jamul) after he had been reported missing earlier in the day while teaching a group how to skydive.

Fink said at the time that Janway was practicing a maneuver called tracking when he collided with his jump partner's knee or leg. Fink said he believed Janway was incapacitated and unable to deploy his parachute.

There was also an accident at Skydive San Diego in 2012. A parachutist survived a mid-air collision during a free fall. He was knocked unconscious and was saved by an emergency parachute that opened automatically.


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San Diego County Crisis Line: 1-888-724-7240
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