PERRIS, Calif. -- A skydiver died Friday after colliding with another jumper in mid-air over a Southern California airport, just two weeks after another pair of jumpers was killed there in a similar crash, authorities said.
The jumpers' parachutes collided and got entangled about 200 feet above the ground, 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 were experienced jumpers with a couple thousand jumps each, he said. One is from Denmark and was training with a team. The other is from Italy and was an instructor, Brodsky-Chenfeld said.
"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.
Valenzuela said she didn't know if it was the man from Denmark or the man from Italy who died. 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.
Friday's accident occurred a day before a planned memorial jump -- known as an ash dive -- to honor the victims of the previous crash.
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