2 skydivers airlifted after mid-air collision

Posted at 12:38 PM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 00:28:09-04

Two skydivers were airlifted to an area trauma center after a mid-air collision at Skydive City near Zephyrhills Tuesday. 

Only one diver was able to deploy his chute. He landed in the drop zone at Skydive City in Zephyrhills, according to Pasco County Fire Rescue. 
The other diver may have been knock unconscious, according to Skydive City President and General Manager, David Hayes. 
He says the diver had an automatic deploying device for his reserve chute that activated when he was about 750 feet above the ground. He was found about 3-and-a-half miles from the drop zone just to the side of County Road 54.
Hayes says the two men from out of town collided shortly after jumping out of the plane that was 14,500 feet in the air.
"Not much different than one car going faster than the other one on the highway and bumping into each other." Hayes said. 
"He had use of his arms and stuff and he could move his head, but we wouldn't let him move, we kept him still." Pat Bila said. She helped the diver who landed in front of her home on County Road 54.
Bila says the man was talking but was obviously hurt.
"He didn't move his legs once. From his waste down it didn't look like he could move at all." She said.
One diver was flown to Tampa General Hospital in serious but stable condition. The second skydiver who landed on CR 54 is in critical condition at TGH, according to Fire Rescue.
This is the second serious accident at Skydive City this month. In early March, a man died when his main chute didn't deploy. Hayes says that man then failed to follow to proper procedures to open his reserve chute.
"We still make mistakes and sometimes they can be pretty minor." Hayes said. "But in skydiving, they can have very grave consequences."