Skydivers died from blunt trauma
Published: Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 9:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 9:23 p.m.
ZEPHYRHILLS — A skydiving instructor and another man died from blunt trauma during a jump in Pasco County, a medical examiner's report said.
The report released Friday detailed the extent of injuries Orvar Arnarson, 41, and Andrimar Pordarson, 25, sustained on March 23rd after jumping separately, not in tandem. They had successfully completed two jumps earlier that day with 20 other people. The two Icelandic skydivers did not return from their third jump, triggering an hours-long air and ground search around the Zephyrhills facility, about 30 miles northeast of Tampa. The bodies were discovered later that evening in the woods.
The deaths were ruled an accident, but the medical examiner's office said a toxicology report had not yet been completed.
Footage from a helmet camera worn by Arnarson, the skydiving instructor, showed that he was trying to help Podarson just before they both died. Arnarson's camera showed him trying to pull the cord on Andrimar Pordarson's parachute, authorities said. It wasn't clear why the student couldn't pull the cord himself.
The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said it will not release the video of the skydivers' last moments, citing a state law that keeps recordings that depict people dying from being released.
Arnarson and Pordarson didn't deploy their main parachutes, which could mean that they lost altitude awareness and didn't know where they were during the jump, Skydive City co-owner T.K. Hayes has told The Associated Press. Both victims had backup automatic activation devices, but they didn't have time to fully inflate.
Out of just over 3 million jumps, 19 skydivers died last year across the U.S., according to the United States Parachute Association. Experts said it is "very rare" for two jumpers to die in the same accident.
The victims were part of a skydiving group from Iceland who travel to Florida annually.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.