CHESTER, S.C. — The family of a man who died while skydiving in South Carolina said he was an experienced skydiver with more than 400 jumps.
Rescue dogs discovered the body of Bond Springer, 32, of Boca Raton, Florida, Sunday morning, officials said.
Authorities said Springer was executing an advanced wing-suit maneuver when he collided with another jumper Saturday evening. The 14,000-foot jump was reportedly one of the last of the evening during an annual festival held at Skydive Carolina in Chester, South Carolina.
It’s unclear what led up to the men colliding midair.
One of the men, Avalon Wolf, broke a leg while landing, but Springer could not immediately be found.
“We knew he would probably be hurt so we were planning on coming up there (SC) but this is a different coming home now,” said Springer’s mother over the phone.
Officials said severe thunderstorms Saturday night forced them to suspend the search.
“We did search the area as thoroughly as we could but because of the storms and severe weather and dense underbrush we needed a dog team in there,” said Ed Darby, who is the deputy director of Chester County Emergency Management.
The search resumed around 7 a.m. Sunday and within two hours search dogs found Springer’s body. Darby said he was in a wooded area about a mile from the landing site. He added that Springer’s parachute hadn’t been deployed.
Springer also leaves behind his girlfriend Christina, with whom he shares a 3-year-old daughter named Madisyn.
“I’m heartbroken,” said Christina in a text. “He was an amazing father and his daughter adored him.”
Springer’s mother said her son had a free spirit and that spirit could easily be seen in his daughter.
“She has his spirit,” said Springer’s mother. “She did. He was like that no matter what he did.”
“No malfunction is believed to have occurred with any equipment and all was normal leading to the collision,” operations manager Ryan Levesque said in a release.
“It’s a very popular event and a lot of people are involved in this sport,” said Darby. “It’s just unfortunate.”
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