KALISPELL — An elderly man died in a skydiving accident in northwest Montana on Saturday.
Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino said Gerald F. Fischer, 81, of Moorehead, Minnesota apparently died because of a problem with his parachute.
Emergency crews responded to Skydive Lost Prairie at around 12:45 p.m. on reports that a man had been involved in a skydiving accident.
Witness statements indicated Fischer started turning counter-clockwise after opening his parachute.
He was at about 4,000 feet and witnesses said he continued to turn counter-clockwise until he landed in a pasture.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Flathead County Sheriff's Office reported Fischer was an experienced skydiver with over 2,000 jumps.
Although the venue has been accident-free for the past few years, the Lost Prairie jump site has had a number of tragedies over the years.
A 27-year old Washington man died when his chute didn't open during a jump in 2011.
A Colorado man died the year before that when his chute became tangled with another jumper.
Five people died when a plane crashed on takeoff at Lost Prairie in 2007.