LODI, Calif. (KTXL) – The owner of the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center spoke with reporters Monday after a woman died while skydiving there on Saturday.
“You know, if you’re out playing tennis, there’s people that have heart attacks out on the tennis court because they know they have a heart condition, but they still go out and play because they love the sport,” said facility owner Bill Dause.
Dause said the victim, identified by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office as 57-year-old Sabrina Call, frequently jumped at his drop zone.
“Sabrina, a girl with about 2,000 jumps, a little over,” Dause said. “She started jumping years ago, I’m not sure exactly when. But she had gotten married, has a couple of kids and had been out of the sport for many years and got back into it a couple of years ago.”
Dause said nobody saw what happened until she was a couple of hundred feet from the ground.
“She had two parachutes out, they entangled with each other and weren’t fully inflated, and pointed towards the ground at a very rapid speed,” Dause explained.
Call’s death marks one of at least 20 recorded fatalities at that drop zone since it opened in 1981.
“Yes, we’ve had our share of fatalities and probably more than some of the smaller drop zones by a ways, but none of them have been the same. It’s not the same problem,” Dause said.
In August of 2016, 18-year-old Tyler Turner and his unlicensed instructor, 25-year-old Yong Kwon, both perished after their parachute failed to open.
In March, Dause and his company, Skydivers Guild Inc., lost a $40 million lawsuit filed by Turner’s family.
Dause did not answer questions on how he would pay that settlement.
“The trial had absolutely nothing to do with the incident, the accident or what took place. The trial was who owned or controlled the entities at the Lodi Airport,” Dause said.
Dause said once the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office finishes up its investigation, his staff will conduct their own investigation.