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73-year-old man dies in skydiving incident in Arizona after his parachute failed to fully open

Authorities are investigating the death of a 73-year-old experienced skydiver in Arizona, after his parachute did not fully deploy during a jump.

Eloy Police said the incident happened just after 12 p.m. on Wednesday when Terry Gardner, 73, and three other skydivers were making their third jump of the day with Skydive Arizona. 

Police added that the group had planned a formation jump from an altitude of approximately 14,000 feet, but were unable to complete the intended formation.

Police said the formation didn’t go as planned as Gardner experienced complications when he attempted to deploy his parachute. While the other three skydivers landed safely, Gardner’s parachute never fully deployed to slow his descent.

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FILE- A skydiver in the air is descending to the ground after jumping.  (iStock)

Rescue crews arrived and worked to stabilize Gardner’s condition, but he succumbed to his injuries and died at a local hospital a short time later.

At this time, it remains uncertain if there were any issues with the parachute, police said, adding that an inspection of the parachute will be conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to determine the cause of the complications.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with all those who knew and loved Terry Gardner during this challenging time,” Eloy Police wrote on social media. 

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People skydiving

FILE- Skydivers land at Marina Green for the largest aerial skydive ever performed in San Francisco. (John Shearer/Getty Images for T-Mobile)

Skydive Arizona also released a statement to Fox News Digital, sharing their condolences on Gardner’s passing and the impact he made on the skydiving community.

“The Skydive Arizona community is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of a beloved member. This tragedy profoundly impacts everyone who knew them, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to their family and friends in this difficult period,” a spokesperson for the company wrote. 

This is the area’s second deadly skydiving-related incident in the last month after a hot air balloon carrying eight skydivers crashed. 

Federal authorities still are investigating the Jan. 14 crash of a hot air balloon in a desert area of Eloy that left a pilot and three passengers dead and critically injured another passenger.

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Scene from fatal hot air balloon crash

Eloy Police released the names of the victims killed in a hot air balloon crash on Sunday in Arizona.  (Credit: FOX 10 Phoenix)

An “unspecified problem” with the “envelope” of that balloon may have led to the fatal crash, investigators confirmed to the Associated Press.

 The “envelope” is the bag that fills with hot air to make the balloon rise.

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