Skydiver dies from injuries suffered in recent Lodi Parachute Center accident
By Ellen Garrison
September 19, 2017
The skydiver who crashed Thursday after a parachute malfunction has died, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday.
Brett Hawton, 54, of Alamo was jumping solo from a plane out of the Lodi Parachute Center in Acampo. Witnesses told Woodbridge Fire District officials that his chute tangled, Chief Steve Butler said last week.
He died Friday, according to the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said last week that he was hospitalized in critical condition after the Thursday accident.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the agency is investigating whether the parachute was properly packed by the appropriate person. The FAA handles skydiving regulations and investigations.
It’s the second death this year of a skydiver who used the Lodi Parachute Center as a starting point. In May, 42-year-old Matthew Ciancio died when his chute failed to properly deploy at the end of a jump in a wingsuit, a specialized jumpsuit with two arm wings and a leg wing.
Three people died in two incidents related to the center in 2016.
The August 2016 deaths of two men during a tandem jump prompted Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, to introduce legislation giving state and local authorities the option to take parachute center operators to court if they are found out of compliance with federal regulations.
Lodi Parachute Center has another mishap. Skydiver in critical condition.
By Ellen Garrison and Ed Fletcher
September 14, 2017 3:20 PM
A skydiver is in critical condition after his chute tangled Thursday afternoon near the Lodi Parachute Center, according to Woodbridge Fire District Chief Steve Butler.
The skydiver landed on top of a horse trailer at a company called The Trailer Specialist across the street from the Lodi Airport.
The skydiving center in Acampo has been the starting point for numerous parachute-related deaths in the last few years.
A person died in May after jumping in a specialized jumpsuit called a wingsuit, and three people died in jumping accidents related to the Lodi Parachute Center in 2016.
In May 2016, a Lodi Parachute Center plane carrying 18 people landed upside-down in a vineyard. No one was seriously injured and the incident was recorded on a helmet-mounted camera.
The Federal Aviation Administration will conduct the investigation of Thursday’s incident, said San Joaquin County sheriff’s spokesman Dave Konecny. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said via email the agency will investigate whether the parachute was properly packed by the appropriate person.
Staff at the Parachute Center and The Trailer Specialists declined to comment.
After Tuesday’s accident, dozens of young skydivers continued about their day at the Lodi Parachute Center inside a large, colorful hangar. People worked mostly in pairs, in various stages of preparing for their next skydive. They were pleasant but did not want to talk to reporters.
There has been no official count of fatalities, but a review of news stories shows that at least 18 people have died flying out of the Lodi Parachute Center since 1981.
Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, introduced legislation this year after the deaths of Tyler Nicholas Turner, 18, and Yong Kwon, 25, in a tandem jump with the Lodi Parachute Center in August 2016. They died after their parachutes did not open.
Eggman said in February she is disappointed with the enforcement of federal regulations at the center. The FAA has twice levied fines against the facility for maintenance and operations issues, but the fines apparently went unpaid and the owner was not prosecuted.
Assembly Bill 295 would require operators to follow federal law for tandem jumps and would allow state and local officials and the general public to take non-compliant operators to state court. The bill has passed both houses and is on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
“This is why we introduced legislation and it’s another tragic incident,” said Eggman’s chief of staff David Stammerjohan.
LODI, Calif. (KCRA) —
A skydiver died several days after a being critically injured in an accident near Lodi Parachute Center, the San Joaquin Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.
Brett Derek Hawton, 54, of Alamo, died Friday after getting hurt during a solo jump.
Hawton was injured Thursday afternoon near the 2400 block of North 99 Frontage Road. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition that day.
No other details about the accident were released.
The incident is under investigation by the FAA. In accidents involving solo skydivers, the agency investigates whether the parachutes were properly packed by the appropriate person.
Over the past two years, four other people have died during jumps from planes that took off from the Lodi Parachute Center.
Matthew Ciancio, 42, was wearing a wing suit in May during a jump and died when he landed in a vineyard just north of the parachute center, the FAA said.
In February, a skydiver who was on a solo jump from the Lodi Parachute Center was killed due to a parachute malfunction. Two men were killed during a tandem parachute jump in August 2016.Between 1999 and 2016, there were 13 deaths connected to the parachute center