ELLICOTT, Colo. - The U.S. Air Force Academy cadet involved in Sunday's fatal commercial skydiving accident is known as a skydiving expert.
Cadet 1st Class Kaleb Estes from Cadet Squadron 39 performed more than 500 jumps in his life.
Estes was flying commercially Sunday afternoon at 'Out of the Blue Skydiving,' in Ellicott. He was solo jumping when he crashed and died. Details of the crash are under investigation.
“It's a very, very bad situation," said Cathy Meuret from Ellicott.
Meuret, who lives nearby, was home when the incident happened.
“It was beautiful out then all at once a big great wind gust came up and it was just really bad and really fast. I saw the plane dropping people out for paragliding and that’s worrisome out here," Meuret said.
The crash happened approximately a quarter mile south of the 22500 block of Jones Road. Medical personnel responded and began lifesaving efforts, which were unsuccessful.
“I saw a couple of ambulances, it was two or three. They also had patrol vehicles going around," said John Harrison, from Ellicott.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office and the FAA are also working this investigation.
Out of the Blue Skydiving released the following statement:
"With heavy hearts, we can confirm that an experienced skydiver passed away yesterday afternoon while participating in a solo jump at Out of The Blue Skydiving. We are working with the FAA and other authorities to investigate the cause of this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time."
The U.S. Air Force Academy also released a statement:
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Kaleb Estes and our thoughts are with
his friends, classmates and loved ones," said Academy Superintendent Lt.
Gen. Michelle Johnson. "We are ready to support Cadet Estes' family as well
as his USAFA family through this difficult time."