Record-Setting Skydiver Dies in Inland Empire Jump

By Lorel Kane, Jonathan Lloyd and Olsen Ebright
|  Thursday, Nov 12, 2009  |  Updated 3:31 PM PDT
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On the Local Beat: Week of 11/9/09

Scotty Burns

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Skydivers Jump for Record

Skydivers jump for a record Wednesday over the Inland Empire.
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Contrary to an earlier report, a skydiver from Boston who died during a jump Wednesday was actually part of a record-setting jump made earlier in the day.

Stephen Millard Harrington, 40, of Massachusetts, died late Wednesday afternoon when his parachute didn't open and he plummeted onto the driveway of a home in the 38000 block of Calle de Lobo near Avenida Arboles in the rural La Cresta area west of Murrieta and south of Lake Elsinore, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and the coroner's office.

Harrington was part of a group of 68 jumpers who set a U.S. record for the largest formation of wing suit skydivers, said the owners of Skydive Elsinore.

NBCLA first reported that Harrington was not part of the record jump. That error has since been corrected.

Later in the day, Harrington was part of a four-person group that went for another jump. For some reason, Harrington apparently hit the tail of the aircraft. Police believe he was knocked unconscious.

"They actually heard him come down," a paramedic said. "They said it sounded like a jet plane crashing. People who saw it looked up and saw the body fall."

John Hamilton, owner of Skydive Elsinore, said that Harrington was an experienced skydiver with many jumps under his belt and that he was still wearing a wingsuit when, following the formation jump, he did one last jump for fun, from 12,500 feet.

Hamilton said Harrington's parachute opened automatically about 100 feet from the ground, but could not say what happened next.

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