A 69-year-old skydiver was pronounced dead on-scene Saturday after a homeowner found him in his front yard near a Titusville, Florida, airpark, according to a local report.
James Sconiers located the deceased skydiver, identified as Frederick C. Morello, on his front lawn, according to Click Orlando. Morello was dressed in parachute attire and gear. First responders reportedly declared him dead at the scene on Merry Lane following his unsuccessful landing.
“I was asking the person laying on the ground, ‘Hey man, can you hear me? Can you hear me?’ … But he did not answer,” Sconiers told the outlet.
The Titusville Fire Department arrived at around 12:25 p.m. after the incident occurred near Arthur Dunn Airpark, Click Orlando reported. Titusville firefighters, joined by the Brevard County Fire Rescue, declined to send a helicopter to the scene. (RELATED: Skydiver Loses Prosthetic Leg During Free Fall, Farmer Finds It In His Crops Days Later)
Sconiers, a Vietnam veteran with experience flying, said he is skeptical of the way Morello apparently crash-landed. He captured video of the incident in his home security camera and questioned why Morello “[fell] so hard if all the safety mechanisms were in place.” The footage also showed a person from the nearby Skydive Space Center remove Morello’s parachute, Sconiers told Click Orlando. The center declined to comment on the incident to the outlet.
“I just told him, I said, ‘He’s not responsive,’ and I said, ‘He has this helmet on and I don’t know if the neck is broken or what,’” Sconiers said.
Morello was very safety-conscious, an anonymous skydiver who knew Morello for over 20 years told the outlet.
An investigation is being conducted and more information will be released after its conclusion, Titusville police said, according to Click Orlando.