Squaw man dies skydiving
ACAMPO, Calif. (AP) – A Tahoe-area man died and another was critically injured during a skydiving accident in Lodi last weekend, witnesses said. The owner of the Lodi Parachute Center said Marvell Strawn crashed into Ben Quinn during the fall after having problems opening his parachute. Rescuers said Strawn was able to open a reserve parachute, but was dead when he landed. Quinn was taken to a Sacramento hospital after the accident on Aug. 21. “Marvell ran into him, striking him in the lower back, causing severe damage to his pelvis and legs,” owner Bill Dause, who owns the Lodi Parachute Center. Both of the men had experience jumping – enough to qualify for a skydiving proficiency license. Strawn, of Olympic Valley, had made about 35 jumps and Quinn, of Lake Tahoe, about 25 jumps. The accident happened during their third jump of the day. The instructor who taught both men, Will Guillermo DaSilva, said the crash happened because one of the jumpers forgot to check his blind spot. He said the accident was a result of “poor judgment.” A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates parachuting, said these investigations can take weeks, and could not confirm the status of the case. Strawn, who worked as a bartender at Mama Sake at the Village at Squaw Valley, will be missed by his friends and co-workers. “He was really outgoing. He was friends with everyone,” said Jaison LeRoy, a close friend of Strawn for the last six years. Strawn loved to snowboard and rock climb, and just recently, he tried skydiving. “He’d just gotten into skydiving this summer, but he was obsessed with it,” said LeRoy, who is organizing a service for Strawn this Sunday at PlumpJacks. A reception will follow the service at Mama Sake. “He was always in such good spirits,” LeRoy said. “He was happy to be alive and to be living in such a beautiful place.”The owner of Mama Sake, Elsa Corrigan, said she is sorry to see such an animated spirit pass. “He was such a big part of our lives, and not just at work,” she said. “He was such a rocket, but yet he had a sort of inner calmness about him. He brought out the best in everybody.”- Additional reporting by Megan Michelson
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