A witness, Alex Arias, told Houston station KPRC that he saw the victims struggling with their parachutes in the air and later found the instructor unconscious on the ground.
“He let off his primary and then the secondary chute like opened halfway up, so he didn’t fall like a straight fall, he was like 50% chute, like a corkscrew,” Arias told KPRC.
Waller County Sheriff Troy Guidry told CNN a male instructor and a female skydiving student were doing a tandem jump Saturday afternoon when the parachute failed to open and “just kind of swirled down.”
Guidry told CNN the instructor and student were flown to a hospital, where the instructor died and the student was in critical condition. Skydive Houston jump sessions were suspended as the incident was investigated.
“Skydive Houston, along with the greater skydiving community at large, is deeply saddened by the loss of our tandem instructor and friend,” Skydive Houston said in a statement to USA TODAY. “Our sincerest condolences are extended to his friends and family. We continue to pray for a full recovery for the injured tandem student.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Houston skydiving instructor dies after jump with student after parachute fails to open