LODI (CBS13) — A Lodi skydiving facility under a microscope following another parachuting accident.
A man is in critical condition after crash landing in the lot of a nearby trailer business.
This is just the latest in a string of incidents at the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center in the past several years. The Federal Aviation Administration says it will be investigating what happened with the man’s parachute.
Meanwhile, neighbors are wondering when these accidents are going to stop.
Patricia lives just around the corner from the facility. She says she heard the sirens Thursday afternoon. It’s a sound she knows all too well.
“It’s sad,” said Patricia.
She says she’s witnessed too many tragedies to count. And on Thursday, it happened again.
“I don’t call it a surprise. I just call it very unfortunate, terrible,” she said.
According to authorities, around 1 p.m., a solo skydiver crash landed inside the lot of nearby business Trailer Specialists.
“He was located by a civilian, so we responded as first responders,” said San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Lt. John Hamilton.
The man, described as being in his 50’s, was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He’s still alive, but that hasn’t been the case for many Skydive Lodi Parachute Center customers who encountered problems on the way down.
“Is this common? I don’t know. I know I responded to at least one call this year,” said Lt. Hamilton.
In May, one person died during a jump. They were one of 14 people who died in skydiving accidents at the facility since 2000.
The facility and its owner have been in hot water with regulators in the past. The United States Parachute Association revoked memberships and instructional ratings and required 140 tandem instructors who trained at the facility to be retrained.
The facility was also fined nearly $1 million by the FAA, for safety and maintenance violations. The FAA told CBS13 the fine hasn’t been paid, and the cases have now been sent to the US Attorneys Office for possible prosecution.
Patricia just hopes the accidents will stop.
“There’s people that would like to see this closed down,” she said.
Shutting the facility down won’t be so easy, because there really isn’t much oversight when it comes to solo jumps, and those have been the majority of the accidents.
There is a bill on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk that would essentially make the owners of the facilities liable for accidents or fatalities, but that would only apply to tandem jumps, not solo jumps.