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

Kalispell Regional sued over data breach

December 05, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Daily Inter Lake A Cascade County resident has sued Kalispell Regional Healthcare on behalf of the 130,000 patients whose personal information was potentially exposed by a May data breach. William Henderson filed th...

Comments

Read More

Trooper: Charges to be filed ‘soon’ in bus stop accident

December 05, 2019 at 10:56 am | Daily Inter Lake The Montana Highway Patrol trooper who investigated the traffic accident last month that severely injured an Olney-Bissell student said there was no reason the driver couldn’t have stopped in time to...

Comments

Read More

Former county commissioner Dale Lauman dies

December 05, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Daily Inter Lake Former Flathead County Commissioner Dale Lauman, who was well-known not only for extensive community service that spanned decades but also for his statesmanship, kindness and compassion, died Wednesd...

Comments

Read More

Uphill access temporarily closed at ski resort

December 05, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Daily Inter Lake Whitefish Mountain Resort has put a temporary hold on uphill skiing access until the slopes receive more snow. According to the resort, safety concerns prompted the temporary closure, which is goe...

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