JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a deadly skydiving incident in Johnson County.
Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox said police and medics responded around 11:40 a.m. just south of Franklin Flying Field Friday after the skydiver landed hard. She was taken to Johnson Memorial Hospital, where the Johnson County coroner says she died.
Coroner Craig Lutz identified the woman as 54-year-old Teresa Woods, of Martinsville. Lutz also ruled her death an accident and said there were no signs of foul play. He said he’s now working with the Federal Aviation Administration to figure out what went wrong during Woods’ jump. He said they spent Friday evening analyzing her gear, including her parachute.
“We’ve got to be able to rule out whether it was equipment or whether it was the divers fault — things of that nature. We basically got to rule everything out and come to one conclusion,” he said.
According to an incident report from the sheriff’s office, Woods and several others took off from the air field late in the morning. She was the third of three skydivers who jumped. The first jumper, Kerry Miller, told investigators he didn’t see what happened to Woods because he was dealing with an issue with his parachute. He estimated they jumped from around 2,500 feet. He said he wasn’t sure if Woods packed her own parachute.
The report states the second skydiver was David Crocco. He told investigators that he was wearing a video recorder during the jump and believes he captured the incident up until impact.
A fourth person on the plane, Jeremy Daeger, told investigators in the report he did not jump but that he watched all three skydivers. He said Woods’ reserve parachute opened and was fully inflated.
After woods landed, the report states she was unresponsive. A witness tried giving Woods CPR along with a deputy.
News of what happened to Woods spread quickly in the area. Sam Allison lives near the spot where Woods landed. He said he and his neighbors are used to watching skydivers glide through the air, especially during warmer months.
“You’ll hear their chutes if it’s a calm day and the winds not really blowing that hard; you’ll hear their chutes open as they’re falling,” he said.
But hearing that one of those skydivers died from a jump is something they never expect. “It’s very unfortunate for her to die from her injuries,” he said.
Lutz said an autopsy should be completed by Monday. He said they’re also awaiting toxicology results but that it could take 4-6 weeks.