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Skydiver Dies After Fall into South Jersey Yard

Authorities say a 49-year-old Brookyn man who landed in the backyard of a home after a skydiving accident in south Jersey has died.

Sewell backyard a skydiver fell into
Sewell backyard a skydiver fell into (CBS Philly)

The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office says 49-year-old Arkady Shenker of Brooklyn died while skydiving on a trip from Freefall Adventures. He jumped from a plane around 2 p.m. and landed in a yard in the 100 block Tuckahoe Road in Sewell. He was taken to Kennedy Hospital in Washington Township where he was pronounced dead.

“I saw the jumpers. Then I noticed one, and he kind of looked like he was conscious. He was just spinning,” witness Annie Marie Dye told 6 ABC. 

The Prosecutor’s Office says Shenker was an experienced skydiver with more than 350 jumps. He was wearing a “wing suit,” which allows a skydiver to move forward while descending. It’s unclear whether the specialized parachute that Shenker was wearing during the jump opened. One witness told NBC Philadelpha it appeared that Shenker’s parachute did not open. Another witness, however, describes a parachute “swinging around and around” to CBS Philly.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the incident. An official cause of death has not yet been determined. 

Shenker was skydiving from a plane operated by Freefall Adventures in Monroe along with 15 others and is described as a “frequent visitor” to the company which flies out of Cross Keys Airport.

A skydiver on a Freefall Adventure jump died in 2012 when their parachute became tangled in a tree.

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