A former Navy SEAL was reportedly killed in a skydiving accident Sunday after his parachute became tangled in midair with another diver’s chute.
Ex-military parachutist Frederick H. Platt Jr., 44, of Racine, was doing a solo jump when his parachute became tangled with the chute of another experienced jumper, 27-year-old Neil A. Kuhlman, in what officials call a “canopy collision,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Platt died after he plunged onto a road in the Town of Yorkville just west of Interstate 94 near the Sylvania Airport. Kuhlman landed in a tree roughly 100 yards away and suffered minor injuries.
Both jumpers were reportedly skydiving through Skydive Midwest.
The two chutes collided somewhere between 800 and 1,200 feet, Racine Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Daniel Adams told the Journal Sentinel.
Canopy collisions, while avoidable, are most detrimental at heights below 1,800 feet because it leaves jumpers with little time to cut their main chute and deploy a back-up chute, officials said.
Platt, who was in the Navy SEALs from 1988 to 2001, was working as a Navy reservist for the Department of Homeland Security at O’Hare Airport, his wife, Stacy Hux, told the Journal Sentinel. Officials said he done more than 2,000 jumps.
Hux said the couple met while doing a tandem skydive jump and married last year. She is set to give birth to their first child later this year.
Pratt was reportedly expected to appear in court regarding charges stemming from a domestic violence incident with his wife last year. Hux said the incident stemmed from a brain injury Pratt suffered in a motorcycle crash along with health problems following his service in the Navy SEALs.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the Racine County Sheriff’s Department are investigating.