06/14/01 UPDATE: It was brought to my attention that all too often, when newspapers report a fatal skydiving accident, they tend to report that the parachute failed to open, when in most cases, this simply isn't true, as in the case of my uncle.
In all three of the local newspaper accounts, they claim it was the parachute that failed to open, when in fact, Donald never attempted to open them. Whether he lost control and began tumbling or fell to the earth in a sleep, he landed without ever having pulled his main or his reserve.
It is a bit difficult to say that, I must admit.... To acknowledge that it was something he did, or didn't do, that caused his death. However, it is true, and so I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify that here.
I understand that many newspapers still assume such incidents to be the fault of the parachute, falsely claiming there must have been a malfunction. In doing so, they place a negative spotlight on the sport, the equipment, and spread misinformation. (Thanks Allen ;)
Because of the above, I have decided to share the article written by The Kansas City Times regarding my uncle's death. Originally I had not wished to share it here because it gets a bit graphic, and I find it rather distasteful. But, because I feel it is the most accurate telling of the incident, I think it is only fair to share it here.
Veteran Skydiver Dies In Jump