Even experienced skydivers face risks. A diver who died after exiting a plane in Monroe Township had more than 1,200 jumps. Sheri Berkery, Wochit
MONROE TWP. – A skydiver’s main parachute was found about a mile from his body during an aerial search late Monday afternoon, authorities said.
New Jersey State Police equipment was used in the search a day after Paul Haaf Jr., 54, died during a jump with Skydive Cross Keys in Williamstown.
The main chute was spotted from the air and then recovered from a wooded area near the Atlantic City Expressway, according to a statement from the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office.
The discovery was made about a mile from where the victim was found Sunday afternoon in the area of Brookdale and Herbert boulevards, the prosecutor’s office said.
“Haaf was described as an experienced skydiver with over 1,200 jumps and was a frequent visitor to Skydive Cross Keys,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
An autopsy determined Haaf, a Monroe Township resident, died from multiple injuries and listed the cause of death as accidental, according to the statement.
The skydiver’s parachute was deployed upon exiting the plane, according to a statement from Skydive Cross Keys.
The Federal Aviation Administration is assisting the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office and Monroe Township Police in the investigation.
The incident occurred nearly five years after a 49-year-old man on a group skydiving outing crash-landed in a Monroe Township backyard.
Arkady Shenker of Brooklyn, N.Y., was killed in the April 20, 2014, accident.
The United States Parachute Association maintains that decades of strict safety standards, training policies and programs have limited skydiver deaths and injuries.
In 2013 and 2014, 24 skydiving fatalities were reported out of 3.2 million estimated jumps each year, according to the USPA.
There were 21 fatalities each year in 2015 and 2016, over 3.5 million and 3.2 million jumps, respectively. In 2017, deaths notched up slightly to 24, among 3.2 million jumps.
And in 2018, 13 fatalities were recorded among 3.3 million jumps. Also last year, In 2018, USPA members reported 2,147 skydiving injuries requiring a medical care facility.
“Skydiving involves inherent risks, but most skydiving accidents result from human error. With proper preparation and good judgment, skydivers can minimize those risks,” the USPA says on its website
Sheri Berkery: @SheriBerkery; 856-486-2673; [email protected]
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