19-year-old soldier dies in parachute accident

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 1, 2013 

An Airborne student jumps using the T-11 parachute in March 2010. On Tuesday, an unidentified Airborne student died during parachute training after the wind was taken out of his chute and he fell.

JOE PAULL — jpaull@ledger-enquirer.com

A 19-year-old soldier stationed at Fort Benning died in a parachuting accident Tuesday afternoon, according to the Muscogee County Coroner's Office.

Coroner Buddy Bryan said the soldier was practicing diving with team members when another soldier accidentally went under his parachute and took the wind out of it. He fell between 120 feet and 150 feet.

The accident occurred during the third week of Airborne School, according to Fort Benning officials.

The student was taken to Midtown Medical Center (formerly known as The Medical Center), where he was pronounced dead.

The accident is under investigation, Fort Benning officials said.

The soldier was born in the Dominican Republic.

Bryan said the body has been transferred to army personnel for an autopsy.

The news comes almost four months after an Army Ranger died during a parachute drill in Savannah, Ga.

The soldier was found on the ground with parachute cords wrapped around his neck after a routine training jump in June, according to the Associated Press.

"The death occurred Thursday at a training area on Fort Stewart, where Rangers from nearby Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah practice parachute jumps several times a year," the Associated Press notes.

The two previous Airborne deaths were in 2005 -- Megan Adelman, in January, and Matthew A. Ritz, in November.

Related stories:

'She was a kick butt girl': Victim told mom, twin she enjoyed 1st parachute jump

Benning probes Airborne death

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the soldier was part of the First Allied Airborne Division.

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