Waterford sky diver killed in stunt-attempt gone wrong

Waterford sky diver killed in stunt-attempt gone wrong

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RAY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A 34-year-old sky-diving instructor has died at a Macomb County air field after he fell and struck a woman on the ground during practice for a high-speed maneuver.

State police Lt. Michael Shaw says the accident happened about 6:20 p.m. Saturday at the Ray Township Airport, which is about 30 miles north-northeast of Detroit.

He identifies the sky diver as Kenneth R. Bernek of Waterford.

Bernek had worked at the Midwest Freefall Sport Parachute Club since 2002. He jumped so often -1,800 times in 15 years - that he worked his way up to instructor and videographer.

Fox 2 has learned Bernek successfully jumped 16 times on Saturday, then on the last ride, he chose to jump from 5-thousand feet instead of the usual 14-thousand. He was practicing a "swooping" high-performance landing, an aggressive maneuver that develops speed and gliding skills.

Bernek's gear was working properly but he could not slow down in time to avoid crashing on the ground. Shaw says Bernek hit a 53-year-old Ray Township woman who was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

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