Two paragliders men, aged 61 and 43, collided in midair above one of the most popular paraglider ports in the United States, near San Diego, in the weekend.
The lesser experienced pilot made a hard turn into the path of the other. Their gliders became entwined. They falled about 75 feet (23 m) to their deaths. The area was very windy at the time of the collision. Those killed were identified Sunday by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office as Raul Gonzalez Valerio, 61, Laguna Hills; and Glenn Johnny Peter Bengtsson, 43, Carlsbad. The two were not flying together. Rescuers had to lower a first responder down to the victims via helicopter. “I heard a collision, some kind of sound, and I looked over and seen two people falling from the sky,” a witness said to media.
Torrey Pines Gliderport area
The Torrey Pines Gliderport has long been popular with hang gliders and paragliders, providing ideal conditions for staying aloft. It is “amongst the world’s safest soaring sites,” the Torrey Pines Gliderport said it a statement. The crash is under investigation. Fatal paragliding accidents are relatively rare. The last known fatal accident in San Diego was in 2012.