WJTV News Channel 12 - Skydiver and pilot survive air collision

Skydiver and pilot survive air collision

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Two men walked away with minor injuries after a small, private airplane collided with a parachute worn by a skydiver over a small airstrip on Coronet Road Saturday afternoon.

Sharon L. Trembley, 87, of Mulberry was doing touch-and-goes in his Cessna aircraft from the South Lakeland Airport near Mulberry about 11 a.m. when the incident occurred, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

During a third pass, the right wing of the aircraft became entangled in the parachute worn by skydiver John Stephen Frost, 49, of Gainesville as he attempted a landing, Polk sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Eleazer said in a news release. The strings of the parachute were cut in the collision about 75 feet above ground.

Frost tumbled to the ground, and the airplane went into a nose dive nearby, crushing its propeller.

Both men were taken by ambulance to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where Frost was treated and released. Trembley was being held for observation.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Authority are investigating the incident.

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