Fiona McEachern, 50, was competing in a four-way formation jump at the North Queensland state championships when she became entangled in another jumper’s lines in a “freak accident” Saturday, parachuting officials said.

“She’s been in the sport a long time and she’s a very, very skilled person, and it’s just deeply shocking when something like this happens to someone so experienced,” saidAustralian Parachuting Federation safety chief Paul Osborne.

“The skydiving community is like a big family. We all know each other and when we lose one of our number it deeply affects us,” he told ABC radio.

He said McEachern “just happened to be in the same place at the same time” as the other jumper, who survived the accident, and described it as “an incredibly unfortunate set of circumstances”.

McEachern, a veterinary surgeon, was one of the world’s most experienced femaleskydivers, winning a silver medal at the sport’s 1998 World Cup in Portugal and representing Australia at the International Parachuting Commission.

(news source