Skydiver, pilot collide in mid-air collision in Fla.

MULBERRY, Fla. — A plane became entangled in the strings of a skydiver's parachute, sending both pilot and skydiver crashing to the ground in Polk County, Fla., on Saturday. Neither the skydiver nor the pilot were seriously injured.

Around 11 a.m. Saturday, Shannon Trembley, 87, was doing take-off and landing maneuvers in a private Cessna airplane from South Lakeland Airport in Mulberry, Fla., near Tampa.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, on Trembley's third landing pass, the passenger-side wing of the plane became entangled in the parachute, cutting the parachute's strings, less than 75 feet in the air.

John S. Frost, 49, the skydiving parachutist, fell to the ground; the plane went down nose first into the ground as well.

Dramatic pictures taken by photographer Tim Telford, and distributed by the Sheriff's Office, capture the moment of impact between Trembley and Frost.

"Thought I'd have very exciting pics of a close flyby," said Telford. "Never in a million years did I think I'd see what I saw."

Both men were taken to the hospital. Frost was treated and released, while Trembley was held for observation.

Telford calls that a miracle.

"The plane caught the side of the canopy, flipped the plane 180 degrees and flipped the skydiver into the air. You heard the airplane hit the parachute, which sounded like you falling on your face into your pillow; a 'woof' sound."

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

Contributing: The Associated Press


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