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Two dead in La Jolla paraglider crash


Last updated 3/10/2019 at 11:09am

LA JOLLA - Authorities were investigating a midair crash that left two paragliders dead near a La Jolla beach.

It happened around 2:40 p.m. Saturday not far from the Torrey Pines Gliderport.

The victims, who were flying separately about 35 feet in the air, struck each other above a bluff, San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Rich Stropsky told the San Diego Union-Tribune. Both gliders fell about 45 feet down the cliff face and suffered fatal injuries.

The victims, both men, were believed to be 61 and 43 years old. Their identities were not immediately released.

One man, from San Diego County, was an experienced glider pilot, while the other, an Orange County resident, was working on a certification but had flown at least 20 times, according to the Union-Tribune.

Stropsky told the newspaper the less experienced pilot was flying south and made a sudden right turn directly into the other pilot's path. Their canopies became entangled, and they fell straight down onto the cliff before catching on a knoll, leaving them stranded.

Authorities weren't sure whether the fatal injuries were caused by the initial impact or the cliff crash, the Union-Tribune reported.

San Diego Lifeguards weren't immediately available for comment on Sunday. The Torrey Pines Gliderport, which is owned by the city of San Diego, also declined to comment when reached by phone.


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