A skydiver who was killed after her parachute failed to open properly has been named. Pamela Gower suffered fatal injuries after crash-landing on a parked car in a housing estate in Shotton Colliery, County Durham yesterday. A witness who saw her falling to the ground in Shotton Colliery, County Durham in England, said she was “spinning like a top” before she crashed at around 3.45pm on Saturday.
Durham Police said the death will be investigated by police, the UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the British Parachute Association. The 49-year-old was from Hebburn, South Tyneside, and had jumped before but not in this country, Durham Police said.
She was found in a cul-de-sac close to the airfield at Shotton Colliery from where her plane had taken off. The coroner has been informed and a post-mortem examination will be carried out.
Detective Inspector Dave Cuthbert said: “This is a tragic incident. The lady who has died was using her own equipment and was making her first skydive in this country, having previously made parachute jumps abroad. “We will be working with the HSE and the British Parachuting Association to establish why this tragedy happened.”
She was flown by air ambulance to the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, following the impact. The witness said she looked as though she was unconscious as she did not scream and had her legs and arms spread before she hit the ground.
Residents carried out CPR on the woman before paramedics arrived and then police also attended to carry out inquiries.