Two reported dead in Minden skydiving incident

Two tandem skydivers killed on Thursday morning were identified as guide Ashlie Caceras, 43, of Lodi, Calif., and David Becker, 21, of Sankt Martin, Germany.

The parachutists fell to their deaths at the Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Initial investigation reveals that the two skydivers were attached by single harness, according to Douglas County Sheriff’s Capt. Jim Halsey. They appear to have participated in a tandem jump with a single parachute as part of an activity from Skydive Lake Tahoe, a commercial skydive tour business.

The incident was first reported at 10:15 a.m. Thursday. Upon arrival, deputies found two deceased skydivers on the ground outside the perimeter of the airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office are conducting the investigation, Halsey said.

Heybourne Road was closed while the investigation was being conducted by the FAA. Federal investigators arrived at the scene at 11:45 a.m.

This is the second parachute-related incident at the airport in a week. On July 27, onlookers reported seeing a parachutist fall only to discover it was a cut away secondary parachute.

No one was injured in that incident.

The last fatal skydiving death at Minden-Tahoe occurred March 23, 2008, when Skydive Tahoe co-owner Wes Harberts’ parachute malfunctioned.

In 2016, the U.S. Parachute Association recorded 21 fatal skydiving accidents in the U.S. out of roughly 3.2 million jumps.


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