A member of the the San Diego-based Leap Frogs Navy elite parachute team was killed Sunday during an aerial demonstration when his parachute failed to open in New Jersey.
“It’s hard to believe it really happened and everyone is sitting here having a good time and the music is still playing,” Nancy Malinowski, a witness from Cranford, N.J, told the New York Times, through tears after she learned the parachutist had died.
The Navy is withholding the man’s name, pending an investigation. According to Navy officials, at about 12:10 p.m., the Navy SEAL’s parachute malfunctioned during a Fleet Week event at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, adjacent to New York City.
“It’s so unnecessary, just to entertain people, for someone to have died,” Ms. Malinowski told the New York Times. “People came out to support the military, and he dies on Memorial Day weekend.”
Navy officials said that after falling into the Hudson River, the victim immediately was retrieved by rescue crews on standby. He was taken to Jersey City Medical Center, where he died about an hour later, Navy officials said.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, and I ask for all of your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today,” Navy Rear Adm. Jack Scorby said.
City News Service contributed to this post.
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