Skydiver's death is fourth in a year at Longmont airport

Posted at 1:37 PM, Jun 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-29 23:38:19-04

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the fourth fatal skydiving accident in the past year at a Colorado airport.

Longmont police Sgt. John Wederquist says rescue crews responded Saturday to reports of a man in his 30s who apparently misjudged his landing and hit the ground hard.

The man — who was identified by the skydiving operator, Mile Hi Skydiving, as Brock Barto — was pronounced dead at a hospital. The Federal Aviation Administration plans to investigate the death. Mile Hi Skydving said Brock was an experienced skydiver with hundreds of jumps under his belt.

It's the fourth death of a skydiver in the past year from flights taking off from the Vance Brand Municipal Airport 38 miles north of Denver.

Most recently, skydiving instructor and videographer Patrick Gire of Denver died June 17 from complications stemming from a September accident.

Two skydivers also died in separate falls in October and May.

Mile Hi Skydiving operates out of the airport and the company said in a statement that "all of the recent accidents involve highly experienced and qualified skydivers." The statement continues, and reads in part, "We are proud provide jobs to over 100 people during the summer season and enjoyment to thousands. This year has been a difficult year, and we have had an unusually high number of incidents. However, Mile Hi Skydiving Center is approaching nearly one million jumps made over a twenty-four year span and has one of the best safety records in skydiving nationwide."