SEBASTIAN, Fla. – An experienced skydiver was killed Monday morning after he attempted to avoid another jumper during a landing, police said.
Christian Stevens, 49, of Canton, Georgia, was transported to Sebastian River Medical Center just after 10 a.m., according to Police Department spokesman Timothy Wood.
Professional jumping group Team Fastrax, which was training at Skydive Sebastian, decided to jump at the same time as Monday’s scheduled SpaceX launch, according to an announcement of Stevens’ death on the team’s Facebook page Monday evening.
The team performed a routine called a nine-way diamond as the rocket took off. Stevens named the jump “Falcon9” in honor of the launch.
Stevens, who had approximately 20 years of skydiving experience and served as an instructor, avoided another jumper and hit the ground “at a high rate of speed,” Wood said.
He was pronounced dead by hospital medical staff, Wood said.
Wood said the Sebastian Police Department will work with the Federal Aviation Administration on the investigation.
“Unfortunately our teammate lost his life this morning on a bad landing after this jump,” the team announced.
Skydive Sebastian brings thousands of adventure seekers to the area each year.
In January 2019, a skydiver was rushed to a hospital after a rough landing near the Sebastian Municipal Airport. Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Kyle Kofke said the skydiver came down hard in a pond at the landing zone.
“Christian was a solid American that served our nation as an Army Ranger, a loving Father, a devoted Husband and a Teammate that was our Brother,” the team wrote Monday evening.
The announcement went on: “We love you Christian Stevens!”
Follow reporter Max Chesnes on Twitter @MaxChesnes
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