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Skydiver falls to death

April 13, 1997

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) _ A man making a parachute jump from 10,000 feet fell to his death Saturday, striking the ground in a trailer court with such force that residents felt the impact 100 feet away.

The 45-year-old Minnesota man, who has not been identified, apparently pulled his reserve parachute moments before he hit the ground. His body was covered with the orange reserve parachute; the main parachute bag was a few feet away.

One of three other parachutists who participated in the jump, Charles Androsky Sr., said the victim had two years of experience and had packed his own main parachute. Androsky and the other two skydivers pulled their chutes and lost sight of the victim.

``We pulled at 3,000 feet, which is normal altitude for a freefall jump,″ he said. ``None of us saw him go in. We don’t know what happened.″

The victim had made about 25 previous jumps, Androsky said.

Bernie LaValley said he was startled out of his shed by the noise of the impact.

``I heard a whoosh, thud, crash, so I walked right out,″ he said. ``I looked up and saw three chutes open. I knew right away what happened.″

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