Dillon woman dies in California skydiving accident

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LODI, Calif. — Officials say a woman from Dillon was killed in a weekend skydiving accident in Central California.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office says 62-year-old Nina Lowry Mason died Sunday when her parachute failed to open at the Lodi Parachute Center about 100 miles east of San Francisco.

Bill Dause, the center’s owner, told FOX40 in Sacramento that Mason and her husband were well known in the area.

“She was jumping with her husband, he was on the same dive. They normally come out here quite frequently,” Dause said. “They have a lot of friends. They originally used to live in this area.”

Dause said he believes Mason packed her own parachute, calling her very experienced.

“She had about 2,500 jumps and had made three previous jumps the same day and made four yesterday,” he said.

The Sacramento Bee reported Monday that Federal Aviation Administration investigators were examining her backpack and parachute.

The paper says at least 20 skydivers using the center have died in jumps since 1981.

The FBI raided the center in January after several similar fatalities over the past couple of years. The results of the investigation have not been announced and the FBI declined comment.

“Yes, we’ve had a number of fatalities and I don’t know the exact number,” Dause said. “Each one has been totally unique. It wasn’t like we were doing the same thing along all the time, where the same parachute failed or something like that.”

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