Skydiver killed after mid-air collision over DeLand

Parachute was deployed as man spiraled down after crash

DeLAND, Fla. – A man was killed Sunday in a skydiving accident in DeLand, according to police.

Officers were called around 10 a.m. to the DeLand Municipal Airport after the man landed hard in a parking lot and was found unresponsive, DeLand police said.

Police have since identified the man as Carl H. Daugherty.

Daugherty was among a group of 15 people who jumped out of a Cessna Caravan BH that took off around 9:45 a.m. from Skydive DeLand, according to a report.

Investigators said the 76-year-old was skydiving with another individual and they were descending to land when they made opposite turns into each other with parachutes fully deployed.

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According to police, witnesses said Daugherty and the other skydiver collided mid-air while their parachutes were open. Daugherty hit the parachute of the other skydiver, briefly tangling their chutes. The other skydiver broke free but Daugherty was knocked unconscious and his parachute appeared to be twisted, records show.

The other skydiver was able to regain control, but Daugherty was unable to recover, police said.

Bystanders rendered first aid to Daugherty but were unsuccessful.

Scott Lazarus is the Regional Safety Officer for the United States Parachute Association. He said Daugherty has impacted thousands of people.

“I know the impact Carl had on the sport and I see that realized by people showing up here,” Lazarus said.

Lazarus said Daugherty has been skydiving for about 50 years and has about 20,000 jumps under his belt.

“I hope to become like him as I age because he represents a lot of the beauty that we have in this sport,” Lazarus said.

Lazarus said that he believes Daugherty’s legacy will live on.

“It’s important to us as the skydivers that follow him, to make sure that we take the stories that he was impactful for us and part that to the new generation,” Lazarus said.

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Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.