Man dies in fall at Lost Prairie Boogie

Print Article

An experienced skydiver who was skydiving at the Lost Prairie Boogie near Marion died Saturday morning after a parachute malfunction.

According to information from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, the man was identified as Gerald F. Fischer, 81, of Moorhead, Minnesota.

Witness statements indicate the seasoned skydiver — who had completed more than 2,000 jumps — experienced a “hard opening” when opening his parachute, a press release from the Sheriff’s Office said.

After opening the parachute, Fischer began a counter-clockwise turn under an open canopy at about 4,000 feet and continued the counter-clockwise turn until landing in a pasture. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tammy Arlint, of Kalispell, was there with her husband, John, watching her father, 81-year-old Ed Krona, skydive with her two sons and a nephew. Her family members had landed safely and were celebrating when the tragedy unfolded in front of them.

“It was devastating to see,” Tammy said. “I looked away before the person hit the ground.”

Arlint said the rest of the event was canceled.

The Lost Prairie Boogie, held Aug. 3-11, is one of the largest events of its kind in the West. This year was its 52nd event.

The nine-day summer camp for skydivers draws hundreds of jumpers from around the country and the world.

The event has seen several deaths over the years.

According to previous Daily Inter Lake accounts, 27-year-old Zack Fogle, of Kingston, Washington, died in 2011.

A Colorado man, Garl “Mike” Newby died when his parachute became entangled with another jumper’s equipment during a formation dive July 28, 2010.

Five people, including Kalispell resident Joel Atkinson, 25, died at the airfield located about 30 miles west of Kalispell when a skydiving plane crashed shortly after takeoff May 12, 2007.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

Print Article

Read More Local News

2 lions killed in Columbia Falls park

August 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Two young mountain lions were shot and killed near River’s Edge Park in Columbia Falls over the weekend. The park, which is adjacent to the Flathead River, is in a wildlife corridor. Columbia Falls ...

Comments

Read More

Smith Valley to vote on fire department staffing levy

August 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The Smith Valley Fire District is once again asking voters to support a mill-levy request that would allow the local fire department to bring on additional paid staff and thus, increase emergency r...

Comments

Read More

4-vehicle crash injures 2, snarls traffic

August 21, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Daily Inter Lake A four-vehicle crash late Tuesday afternoon near the intersection of U.S. 2 and West Reserve Drive in Evergreen sent two people to the hospital and snarled traffic for nearly two hours. The accident...

Comments

Read More

Fair gate revenue up 13% from 2018

August 21, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake With gate revenue up four out of the five days of the Northwest Montana Fair, overall revenue increased 13% compared to last year, Fairgrounds Manager Mark Campbell told the county commissioners on M...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2019 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X