Two Skydiving Instructors Dead After Mid-Air Collision
Both men had logged thousands of hours in the sky, colleagues said.
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Chris Stasky and Pat McGowan (KTLA-TV)
Riverside County and Cal Fire firefighters responded to the report of skydivers down around 3:30 p.m. at the Perris Valley Sky Diving School, located in the 2000 block of Goetz Road.
The two men, both instructors, were conducting a military training session when they collided shortly before landing.
The victims have been identified as Chris Stasky and Patrick McGowan.
Both were professional instructors with thousands of hours in the sky.
McGowan, 42, had been an instructor at the school for nearly 20 years, and had made 17,000 jumps in his life. He was on his sixth jump of the day when the accident happened.
"He's one of our better instructors, more experienced, and just great person," Scott Smith, a school employee, told KTLA.
Witnesses reported seeing the men collide in mid-air with their canopies open, and then free-fall from approximately 200 to 300 feet in the air, Riverside County Fire said in a statement.
When authorities arrived, they found the two men unresponsive on the ground. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.
An investigation is underway into how the two crashed.