Two weeks after a pair of experienced skydivers collided and plunged to their deaths, a similar accident in southern California has left one skydiver dead and another in critical condition.
The jumpers' parachutes collided and got entangled about 200 feet above the ground Friday, just a day before a memorial jump to honor the victims of the previous crash, Perris Valley Skydiving manager Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld said.
"In both of these situations, it was two very experienced people on days when there was hardly any other people in the air," he said. "And somehow they lost track of each other and ran into each other. It's dumbfounding to us."
Both victims in Friday's accident had a couple thousand jumps each, Brodsky-Chenfeld said. He said he was shocked and upset that another tragic accident had occurred.
"The only thing we can put it on is a certain degree of complacency or lack of awareness in one or both of them," he said. "It's like getting in a car wreck when there's only two cars on the freeway."
Both men were taken to a hospital by ambulance _ one died at the hospital and the other was in critical condition, Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Herlinda Valenzuela said. The surviving skydiver underwent emergency surgery for severe injuries to his head and chest.
Their identities will be released once their families are notified.
Two skydiving instructors were killed March 31 when they collided over Perris Valley Airport and their parachutes deflated about 300 feet in the air.
Saturday's a planned memorial jump _ known as an ash dive _ will continue as scheduled.