Skydiver dies in Chula Vista accident, officials say

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UPDATE: Friends and family have identified the victim of this accident as Joe Wingen, and started a GoFundMe campaign for his family.

CHULA VISTA – A 47-year-old skydiver died Sunday after experiencing a medical emergency during a jump from a plane near Otay Lakes Road, authorities said.

The skydiver’s parachute opened and he drifted off course before landing, where a San Diego County Sheriff’s helicopter located him at about 11 a.m., according to Deputy Fire Chief Harry Muns of the Chula Vista Fire Department.

“They noticed he started going off course,” Cal Fire public information officer Thomas Shoots said. “Everything, by all accounts, went fine with the parachute release. Everything seemed fine with his chute, but they noticed he was not headed for the air strip — he was headed northwest of Sky Dive San Diego.”

A San Diego County fire chopper lowered a firefighter to where the skydiver had landed, Muns said. He was then transported to Otay Lakes Road and paramedics began performing CPR.

At about 11:40 a.m., the skydiver was pronounced dead and an official with the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office was called to the scene.

The skydiver had been a customer at Skydive San Diego, where the skydive plane took off, since 2002 and had made 40 jumps, according to the company’s business manager, Catherine Bedell. He was experienced and licensed, she said.

Skydive San Diego shut down operations for the rest of the day Sunday.

“He was really excited this morning to be jumping again,” Bedell said.

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