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Award-Winning Skydiver Killed After Mid-Air Collision in DeLand

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on May 18, 2021

A tight-knit community of skydivers are struggling to comprehend the loss of one of their own after 76-year-old Carl Daugherty was tragically killed during a skydiving accident in DeLand this past Sunday morning. Preliminary reports from the DeLand Police Department indicate that a mid-air collision caused the seasoned skydiver’s parachute to malfunction and he was ultimately unable to recover before hitting the ground below.

It was just a few minutes before 10 a.m. on May 16th, 2021, when authorities with the DeLand Police Department were dispatched to the DeLand Municipal Airport in response to a skydiving accident between two experienced jumpers. Upon their arrival at the airport, emergency response teams were immediately ushered to an adjacent parking lot where they discovered 76-year-old Carl Daugherty unresponsive and suffering from catastrophic injuries as a result of free-falling for 200-500 feet after a mid-air collision entangled his parachute and rendered it useless. Although Volusia County paramedics employed every life-saving technique at their disposal, Mr. Daugherty’s injuries were far too severe to recover from and he sadly passed away at the scene.

After interviewing the group of skydivers who witnessed this horrific accident, DeLand authorities were able to ascertain a clearer picture of the deadly incident. According to their statements, the victim was an award-winning, accomplished skydiver with over 20,000 jumps under his belt. “This has been a real, a real kick in the stomach for all of us,” said Bob Hallett, the owner of Skydive DeLand – the facility where Daugherty had worked as the director of safety and training for over a decade.

Although weather conditions are not believed to be a factor in this skydiving accident, an investigation is expected to be conducted by local law enforcement officials. An internal investigation has also been launched by Skydive DeLand, but many believe this incident to be exactly what it was…a truly tragic accident.

Since 1977, Florida wrongful death lawyer James O. Cunningham has been compassionately representing the victims and families of accidents. If you would like to schedule a free 30-minute case evaluation with the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., please submit a quick contact form on our website or call us directly at 877-FL-INJURY for additional information.


James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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