Man dies in skydiving accident near Grand Canyon, instructor escapes with just a broken leg

Dole08/iStock(FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.) — A tourist has died in a skydiving accident near the Grand Canyon after suffering a “hard landing” when his parachute failed to open.

Christopher Swales, a 55-year-old man from the United Kingdom, was on a sky-diving trip on Sept. 8 with Paragon Skydive, a company at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport when authorities said he and his sky-diving partner who worked at the company “encountered difficulties.”

Deputies were immediately called to the scene of the accident two discover that two men had been injured.

“The skydive reportedly had been going as planned until they encountered difficulties when approaching the landing area. These difficulties caused the pair to free-fall for an unknown distance and hit the ground in what was described as a “hard landing,” according to a statement from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

The diving instructor managed to escape with just a broken leg and was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center. Swales was also transported to Flagstaff but was pronounced dead.

Investigators are still looking into the circumstances surrounding incident but there are no indications that the accident was criminal in nature.

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