Witnesses: Skydivers who died descended too fast
Barnstable, Mass. — The two skydivers killed after they crashed into a building during a tandem jump on Cape Cod appeared to be having problems as they descended, police said.
Andrew Munson, of Nantucket, and his instructor, Eldon Burrier, of West Lynnwood, Washington, died Sunday while skydiving at the Marstons Mills Airport in Barnstable, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe and Barnstable Police Chief Paul McDonald said in a joint statement Monday.
Munson, 29, and Burrier, 48, were involved in a tandem jump from a plane operated by Skydive Barnstable. They struck a shed on private property adjacent to the airport at about 5:15 p.m. Sunday.
Witnesses told police the pair appeared to be in trouble, descending too fast and out of control.
“We were notified that a student and an instructor were descending at a fairly high rate of speed having a problem with their chute,” Sgt. Ben Baxter said.
Homeowner John Theriault said he rushed to the aid of both men while his wife called 911, and then stayed with them offering comfort until emergency personnel arrived.
The deaths remain under investigation.
The skydiving school said it would have no comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
“As we find out more we’ll be able to make a statement but until then we ask you to respect our privacy,” a school representative said in an email to the Cape Cod Times. “Our hearts go out to all family members of everyone involved.”