Two men in their 70s who bonded over a passion for skydiving died together over the weekend after their parachutes became entangled about 100 feet about the ground in Pennsylvania. Theodore Wilson, 70, was a well-regarded retired accountant who grew up in the Bronx and volunteered to help abused children at the Bronx Community Health Network. NJ resident George Flynn, 75, was a retired ironworker and a grandfather of seven. Both men were extremely experienced skydivers; Wilson had logged 545 skydiving jumps in his lifetime, while Flynn had logged 1,497 jumps. But despite their aptitude, the two friends made their last jump Saturday, their third that day.
Witnesses said Wilson and Flynn appeared to be having perfectly normal jumps, but as they floated to the ground, they inexplicably slammed into each other in midair and the lines of their parachutes got tangled up, sending them both crashing down. Wilson was declared dead soon after, but Flynn held on and briefly regained consciousness before dying on Sunday.
Wilson's son Theodore called his dad the "Lion of the Family" and tells the Daily News, "I never really wanted my father to do skydiving - not at all. But he said to me, 'You have to live in the moment and you could die from anything, so why be fearful?'" And Flynn's wife Delores says, "He would have been happier to go like that than getting sick and lie in a hospital bed." According to another article in the News, only 16 people died in 2.5 million parachute jumps in the U.S. last year.
The two men had jumped with their own gear at Sky's the Limit, which posted a message on its Facebook page that reads, "Good Bye to 2 beautiful gentlemen, who Sky's the Limit had the pleasure of knowing for many many years and were honored to be a part of their family. Our prayers and thoughts are with both families. Blue skies we will miss you very much."