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Skydiver Killed, One Injured

September 28, 1987

MEAD, Wash. (AP) _ A skydiver who jumped from a plane at 10,000 feet plunged to his death and another was seriously injured after they collided, authorities said.

Sunday’s accident occurred as 12 skydivers from the Precision Parachute team were making a jump from three planes above the Mead Airfield, about five miles north of Spokane, said Spokane County Sheriff’s Sgt. Danny O’Dell.

The divers jumped from 10,000 feet, said Tex Gaston of the Federal Aviation Administration, which was investigating the accident.

Joseph R. Varney, 34, of Spokane, was the last person out of one of the planes and somehow collided with Greg Nail, 39, said O’Dell.

Varney’s parachute failed to open, and he was killed instantly when he hit the ground, O’Dell said.

Nail’s reserve parachute did open at 1,000 feet, but he hit a tree and bounced to the ground, authorities said.

Nail was taken to Holy Family Hospital in Spokane, where he was listed in serious condition with fractured ribs, a fractured ankle and a concussion, nursing supervisor Barbara Winter said Sunday night.