Hoboken resident dies skydiving

Paul Joseph, 30, of Monroe Township, and Reed Michael Loeschke, 28, of Hoboken, were found just before noon in the yard of a vacant home in Washington Township and were pronounced dead at the scene.

From 1010WINS:

Skydivers Fall to their Deaths in New Jersey

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (1010 WINS) — A skydiving outing turned fatal in this Gloucester County community on Sunday, when two men fell to their deaths behind a Home Depot store, according to the Gloucester County prosecutor’s office.

The jump, which took place around noon, was from a plane owned by Freefall Adventures, which runs out of Cross Keys Airport in the Williamstown section of Monroe Township, police said.

Police reported that both men were dead at the scene.

An official at Freefall did not immediately return a phone call seeking information of the accident and deaths.

The prosecutor’s office did not immediately disclose the names of the dead, pending notification of relatives.

The men, one of whom was an experienced instructor, had been performing a tandem jump, a practice in which the instructor and beginning skydiver are tied together. Their jump turned deadly when the main parachute failed to open and the reserve chute deployed too late, according to the prosecutor’s office.

One of the men was from Williamstown, while the other lived in Hoboken but had relatives in Vineland, the prosecutor’s office said.

The Gloucester County Medical Examiner’s Office was expected to perform autopsies Monday.

The Federal Aviation Administration was also investigating, with an FAA official at the crash scene on Sunday afternoon.

Freefall Adventures, which boasts on its Web site that it has introduced more than 250,000 people to recreational skydiving, has had its share of fatal accidents.

A July 2005 jump killed two experienced, licensed jumpers who collided in midair, after their parachutes became tangled following their leap from one of the school’s planes.

At least four other people have died in jumps sponsored by Freefall Adventures, which has operated at Cross Keys Airport for more than 20 years.

In 2005, 27 people died in parachuting accidents in the United States, according to the Fredericksburg, Va.-based United States Parachute Association, which has statistics online going back to 1992. The deadliest year during that span was 1998, when 44 parachutists died.

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