For many families, Easter was all about spending time with family and watching children look for hidden Easter eggs. Unfortunately, Easter ended in disaster for the family of Arkady Shenker, 49, of N.Y. While skydiving with other skydivers from the Freefall Adventures Skydiving School, Shenker’s parachute failed to open.
During the skydive, members of the Dye family of Washington Township, New Jersey celebrated Easter with their annual egg hunt. Dye family members and other witnesses said Shenker was coming down quickly and spiraling before he hit the ground. After landing in a nearby yard, neighbors rushed to the scene to give aid to Shenker. He was unconscious but still alive. Shenker died after being transported to Kennedy Hospital.
Authorities didn’t identify what caused the parachute to fail. The NJ.com website says Shenker wore a specialized suit that allows a skydiver to move forward while descending. Shenker was also an experienced skydiver with more than 300 jumps. Shenker and 15 other skydivers jumped from a plane operated by the skydiving school.
The NBC10.com website, a Philadelphia affiliate, reports that Shenker is the fifth Freefall Adventure skydiver to die in the past eight years. In 2005, two skydivers from the school died after they collided in midair and became tangled. The latest death had occurred on March 25, 2011. C. Scott Shields, the mayor of a small Pennsylvania town died after his parachute didn’t open.
The company website says they have been in business for more than two decades, and skydives are made from 13,500 feet. The site also mentions they are members of the United States parachute association. The skydiving school didn’t provide any comments to the media.
Both the Washington Township Police Department and the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office will conduct the investigation. Additionally, the FAA will also investigate.