Skydiving incident leaves 2 dead, many mystified

MINDEN, Nev. — A sky-diving instructor and a German tourist were found dead on the ground Thursday after they did a tandem jump from a plane flying near Lake Tahoe in western Nevada, authorities said.

An initial investigation indicated both were attached by a single harness and had been connected to one parachute and also had a reserve parachute, said Capt. Dan Coverley of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Coverley and other officials did not disclose whether the parachute did not open or whether it malfunctioned. The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating.

The two were found at about 10:15 a.m. near the Minden-Tahoe airport, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Coverley identified the instructor as 43-year-old Ashlie Caceras of Lodi, California and said she worked for the Skydive Lake Tahoe skydiving tour business.

The tourist was identified as 21-year-old David Becker of Sankt Martin, Germany.

“It’s terrible. Especially, when somebody’s here on vacation, doing something for fun, and then something tragic like this happens,” Coverley remarked to CBS Reno affiliate KTVN-TV.

 KTVN Channel 2 – Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Skydive Lake Taho owner Dave Chrouch says Caceras was an experienced skydiving instructor and a licensed Tandem Master through the United States Parachute Association.

“She was a qualified instructor, had 1,500 jumps or more, qualified tandem instructor,” Chrouch told KTVN. “We just don’t know what happened.”

The (Gardnerville) Record Courier reported the last time there was a skydiving death at or near the airport was on March 23, 2008, when Skydive Tahoe co-owner Wes Harberts’ parachute malfunctioned.

The U.S. Parachute Association in 2016 recorded 21 fatal skydiving accidents in the U.S. out of roughly 3.2 million jumps.

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