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    none - a writer, not a skydiver

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  1. Hi! I'm brand new to your forum. And I'm a writer, not a skydiver. I've joined your forum in the hope of answering some questions to help with a fictional piece that I'm currently writing, loosely based upon an incident that occurred in September, 1985 -- 17 years ago. Maybe some reader will recall this: a heavily armed, former narcotics agent from Lexington, KY, with 75 pounds of cocaine strapped to himself, fell to his death in a Knoxville, TN suburb when his parachute malfunctioned. Does anyone have any recollection of this incident? Apparently the main chute failed to open and a reserve chute was unable to stop the fall. I apologize if this comes across as a morbid question, and I don't mean it as such, but falling from possibly as high an altitude of 15,000 feet, is it unusual that the "only" injury was a broken neck? It seems there would have been more serious injuries. (The plane continued on auto pilot for another 70 miles.) Would it appear that he may have jumped from a much lower altitude? I'm simply concerned about being accurate with my story, or as accurate as one might be in writing about such a situation. And, also, interested in any recollections about the incident. As I recall, there was a crash in Butts County, GA, just a few weeks later, where 15 or 16 skydivers were lost. Any connection to the Thornton incident was apparently ruled out. Is there a site with historical archives where I might research the story further? Or any info you may have about this? Again, it's a sad story, and I'm sorry to introduce myself on such a note. I do appreciate any feedback. And I wish you all "safe swoops." It's a fascinating sport and your Web site and forum are quite interesting. Thanks, and all the best.