PERRIS, Calif. (KTLA) — A Camp Pendleton Marine who plummeted to his death Tuesday afternoon during a parachuting training exercise in Perris was identified Wednesday as Caleb Medley, 26, of Burlington, Colo., according to the Riverside County coroner’s office.
Officials are still investigating why the Marine’s parachute failed to open during a training exercise, ultimately leading to his death.
Firefighters responded to a report of a hurt skydiver near 2000 Goetz Road around 3 p.m. When they arrived, they found the man dead at the scene.
Sheriff’s officials say the victim was a Camp Pendleton Marine who was participating in a training exercise at the time of the accident.
The skydiver was among a group of Marines training at the location, but officials said no other skydiver was involved in the accident.
Eric Kazakoff, CEO of Western Construction Auction,s told the Press Enterprise that the skydiver landed in their 10-acre storage yard.
He told the newspaper that several people heard a loud noise and ran to see what happened.
“It was awful,” he told the PE. “The parachute didn’t open… There was not a lot anybody could do.”
A spokesman for the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton said the circumstances surrounding the accident are under investigation.
According to the Press Enterprise, there have been 15 deaths at Perris Valley Skydiving since 2000.
There was at least one in 2012, and in 2011, there were two deadly accidents within weeks of each other.
On April 14, 33-year-old Turci Yuri collided mid-air with 31-year-old Jacob Jensen. Yuri was critically injured, and Jensen was killed.
On March 31, two weeks prior, Christopher Stasky and Patrick McGowan collided mid-air.
The men, who were experienced jumpers, plunged to their deaths when their parachutes became entangled and deflated a few hundred feet above ground.