Tusayan – Christopher Swales, age 55, from the United Kingdom, has been identified as the victim who was killed in a tandem skydiving accident on September 8, 2019 at approximately 9:55 a.m.
According to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the area of the Grand Canyon National Park Airport for a report of a skydiving accident in which two men had been injured.
Deputies found one man, who appeared to have suffered a broken leg. He was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center. Mr. Swales was unconscious, and CPR lifesaving efforts were performed by paramedics on scene. He was later pronounced deceased by doctors from Flagstaff Medical Center.
According to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Mr. Swales had purchased a skydiving package from Paragon Skydive, a company at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport. The skydiving package included a tandem jump with a Paragon Skydiver. The skydive reportedly had been going as planned until they encountered difficulties when approaching the landing area. These difficulties caused the pair to free-fall for an unknown distance and hit the ground in what was described as a “hard landing.”
Investigators are still looking into the details surrounding the accident. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office noted that there are no indications that the incident is criminal in nature.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the incident.