The family of an 18-year-old man who died in 2016 while skydiving at Lodi Skydiving Center near Sacramento, CA, has been awarded a $40-million judgment.
In August 2016, 18-year-old Tyler Turner and tandem instructor Yong Kwan, 25, were killed during a jump after plummeting 13,000-feet to the ground when the instructor couldn’t open their parachutes. His tandem instructor did not hold the proper certification, the United States Parachute Association said after the tragedy.
The attorney representing the family of Tyler Turner of Los Banos, CA, said yesterday that the multimillion-dollar penalty is significant not only because of the amount but because it specifically targets the owner, Bill Dause.
“We are hoping this will allow us to get this place closed or be sold to a responsible owner who can operate it safely.”
– Turner family attorney
The incident is one of a number to plague the skydiving center. From 1999 to 2017, 15 people died jumping from planes that took off from the parachute center. In September 2016, 20 instructors at the center were suspended and 120 others were told they needed to undergo more training after an investigation by the United States Parachute Association. In August 2016, 18-year-old Tyler Turner and tandem instructor Yong Kwan, 25, were killed during a jump. Matthew Ciancio, 42, was killed in May 2017, and Brett Hawton, 54, died in September of the same year. Legendary Squaw Valley skier and BASE jumper Shane McConkey learned to fly there before he died in a BASE jumping accident in the Dolomites, Italy in 2009.
In 2013, then Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth almost lost his right arm in a skydiving accident at Lodi:
Then in 2014, pro-skier from Squaw Valley, Timy Dutton died in a mid-air skydiving collision at Lodi: