Fri. May 27th, 2022


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Boulder man dies after skydiving accident in Longmont on Friday

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A 26-year-old Boulder man died Friday following a skydiving accident at Vance Brand Municipal Airport.

Sergio Lee Gonzales was severely injured just before 1 p.m. Friday, as reported by an airport employee. Gonzales was treated on scene by paramedics before being taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead due to the severity of his injuries.

An investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Vance Brand Municipal Airport Manager David Slayter said Gonzales had booked a solo jump with Mile-Hi Skydiving Center but that he couldn’t comment on the details of the accident or Gonzales’ injuries due to an ongoing Federal Aviation Administration investigation.

The lead investigator for the FAA, Nelson Wolfmeier, was unable to comment Tuesday on the injuries Gonzales sustained in the fatal accident or on the status of the investigation but said additional details would be released at a later time.

The Times-Call could not reach Mile-Hi Skydiving Center owner Frank Casares for comment on Tuesday.

This was at least the fifth skydiving fatality connected to Mile-Hi Skydiving since 2018.

Expert skydiving trainer Patrick Gire of Denver, 40, died June 17, 2019, from complications stemming from a skydiving incident at Vance Brand Municipal Airport on Sept. 21, 2018.

Simla resident Logan Polfuss, 23, died Oct. 18, 2018, when he had jumped with eight other skydivers hosted by Mile-Hi Skydiving. His body was recovered the following day. The FAA subsequently ruled the death of Polfuss, a veteran skydiver, an accident, noting that the one-piece tracking suit Polfuss used might have caused issues during the jump.

Colorado’s Royal Crest Dairy CFO and President Timothy DeTine of Littleton, 57, died in a fall on May 11, 2019.

Experienced skydiver and member of “Mile-Hi’s skydiving family” Brock Barto of Breckenridge, 29, died June 29, 2019, after a Vance Brand Municipal Airport flight instructor called in the skydiving accident upon witnessing Barto hitting the ground. The unidentified flight instructor said Barto’s canopy had looked “distorted.”

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