A skydiver has been found dead after he failed to land at the designated spot during a high altitude group skydive in Tennessee on Monday. The skydiver’s body was discovered about a mile away from the planned landing area after this high altitude, low opening skydive (HALO) went very wrong for him, according to CBS News on Sept 24.
Randall Mathews, 56, of Perris, California was one of seven people who jumped from the plane at 30,000 feet, which is skydiving to the extreme. At this altitude you need to wear an oxygen mask to survive, which Mathews was still wearing when his body was discovered.
A helicopter search for Mathews finally located his body in a wooded area near Whiteville, about a mile from where the other skydivers safely landed. Ground crews were sent in to retrieve the body.
Besides Mathews still wearing his oxygen mask, his parachute was only partially deployed. Investigators will focus on why the parachute did not open fully. It is not clear if the parachute only partially deployed or if it came out from the impact with the ground.
An autopsy should be able to determine the cause of death for Matthews, which could have been a medical problem, as investigators haven’t ruled out a medical issue causing the death of this skydiver. He could have been dead before hitting the ground.