Florida Woman Killed in Skydiving Accident as Parachute Malfunctions

by Madison Miller

Although skydiving typically has a low number of fatalities each year, freak accidents can still happen.

Karen Bernard, a 59-year-old woman from Florida, died in a recent skydiving accident. She was skydiving in upstate New York when her parachute malfunctioned in mid-air.

Florida Woman Dies Skydiving Accident

According to the New York Post, Bernard jumped out of a plane near County Highway 34 in Westford. She died on Saturday morning from the freak accident. Her brother posted the devastating news on Facebook to notify friends and family.

“She was doing the things she loved to do. At this time there are no services planned. Please refrain from asking any questions at this time because we don’t have any answers and we’re not monitoring her page. We’re all pretty numb and in disbelief. Thank you for your understanding,” he wrote.

The investigation regarding her death is still ongoing as of now.

In 2020 the United States Parachute Association reported that there were about 2.8 million jumps at more than 200 USPA-affiliated centers in the U.S. There were 11 reported deaths in 2020 as a result of fatal skydiving incidents. In 2019, there were more jumps, 3.3 million, and 15 deaths. These numbers are higher than normal.

About two weeks ago, a 31-year-old man died in a skydiving accident in North Carolina. According to WYFF 4, the man was an experienced skydiver. He was doing tricks mid-air during his solo jump and got stuck upside down. He was then unable to get control of his parachute and hit the ground directly.

There is no foul play involved and it all appears to be an accidental incident.

Similarly, two experienced skydivers also died the same weekend in April 2021. According to People, a woman died in California after her parachute tangled in mid-air. In Pennsylvania, a 74-year-old experience parachuter died when his parachute opened but then separated from him.

‘Skydive The Falls’ Event

On Wednesday, July 21, jumpers took part in the “Skydive the Falls” event in Niagara Falls.

According to WGRZ, it was a historical event as it was the first time ever that jumpers launched directly above Horseshoe Falls. The skydivers launched 14,000 feet over the falls and landed safely in a parking lot of the Sheraton Hotel.

Everyone then brought celebrations over to Old Falls Street. Those involved in the jump were greeted by the gorgeous sights of Niagra Falls while safely landing back on the ground.

Niagara Falls often attracts daredevils to its dangerous and deep waters. Nik Wallenda is the first person to walk across a stretched tightrope directly over Niagara Falls. He did so in June 2012. It was the first time ever that he had a safety harness on him.