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2 Skydiving Instructors Freefall to Their Deaths After Parachute Mishap

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Two experienced skydivers were killed after the canopies of their parachutes collided and deflated about 300 feet from the ground Thursday afternoon, according to authorities.

The victims, Christopher Stasky of San Diego and Patrick McGowan of Menifee, both 42, were experienced parachutists at the Perris Valley Skydiving School with tens of thousands of jumps between them. McGowan was a veteran instructor at the Perris Valley Skydiving School and was helping Stasky train Canadian military parachutists when the incident occured.

Both parachutes appeared to deploy properly but they collided and deflated about 300-400 feet off the ground, according to witnesses.

People at the scene administered CPR until firefighters arrived but both men were pronounced dead at the scene at 4 p.m., according to Cal Fire and the Riverside County Fire Department.

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There have been at least two other recent skydiving deaths in the area, according to KPSP:

Nicole Hannan, a 41-year-old Australian, was killed in a skydiving accident on Feb. 28, after her backup chute failed to open. Hannan was an experienced skydiver with more than 1,000 jumps, according to an official at Perris Valley Skydiving. On Dec. 26, 2010, Brooke Baum, 33, of Newport Beach was killed after her parachute failed to properly deploy, according to officials at Perris Valley Skydiving. Like Hannan, Baum also was an experienced jumper, as were the two men killed today.

The incident is being investigated by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, the county coroner's office, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.