110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Jen Horton
posted May 9, 2013 - 10:38:51am
Skydiver Santiago Rosell, 62, of Altamonte Springs died in DeLand May 8 after landing on the DeLand Municipal Airport drop zone, apparently with only his reserve parachute deployed.
Witnesses reported that Rosell had taken part in a three-way jump out of Skydive DeLand, 1600 Flightline Blvd., linking up with two other skydivers. The jump was trouble-free, the two surviving men said.
As the three broke away from each other at about 4,000 feet, the other two skydivers noticed Rosell's reserve chute had been deployed.
Both men told police it appeared that the reserve parachute had been working properly.
Arriving on the scene just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, officers from the DeLand Police Department interviewed both Earle Spence of DeLand and Richard Ford of Lake Mary, Rosell's jump partners.
Spence landed after Rosell, he told police, and found Rosell unresponsive. According to the police report, Rosell was not breathing and was bluish in color.
Spence started cardiopulmonary resuscitation, according to the report.
Spence told police his parachute deployed at 3,000 feet, and that's when he notice Rosell was using his orange reserve parachute. According to the police report, Spence said he could not be sure, but it appeared the reserve was fully open and was working properly.
Ford, the third skydiver, also told police he saw Rosell deploy the reserve chute, and that everything appeared to be OK. Ford said he wasn't able to clearly see Rosell's landing because he was still too far up, but he did see Rosell's original parachute cut away and land in nearby woods, he told police.
According to the police report, a man named Trevor Cedar approached officers and told them the parachute that had landed in the woods was his, and was unrelated to Rosell's skydive. Police advised Cedar he would not be able to claim the parachute until police detectives had examined it.
Detectives Y. Sanchez and J. Brazeau took over the investigation of the fatality, according to DeLand Police.
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