Instructor identified after fatal skydiving accident in Slidell

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St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office van

SLIDELL, La. —  58-year-old skydiving instructor Benjamin Leroy Crowell, of Theodore, Alabama, died and a trainee and was injured Sunday after a skydiving accident in Slidell.

According to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, the instructor and a trainee performed a tandem jump early this morning.

The instructor lost consciousness shortly after the jump. The main parachute did not open, but the reserve parachute did.

Witnesses said both skydivers hit the ground very hard on the Royal Golf Course in Slidell.

The male instructor died at the scene, and the trainee was airlifted to a New Orleans area hospital.

“We still aren’t one-hundred percent sure exactly what happened, but so far, it appears to be a tragic accident. Our prayers go out to the families affected by this incident,” St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith said.