Camera footage key to inquiry
CAMERA footage taken by witnesses watching their loved ones skydive will likely be used in the investigation into the deaths of three people at Mission Beach.
Senior police said video evidence would become crucial to establishing what went wrong when it is believed a solo skydiver may have collided with tandem skydivers in midair just after 3pm and plummeted to the ground.
Cassowary Coast police Insp Steve Kersley said the trio came down about 1km from the designated drop zone.
It is understood the solo skydiver, a man in his 30s, landed beside a house on Alexander Drive, while the tandem pair, another man in his 30s and local woman Kerry Pike, 50, became entangled in a tree about 500m away.
“We believe there may be footage from cameras on the ground or even from the aircraft they jumped out of,” Insp Kersley said.
“This may help give us some idea of what happened.
“This is a devastating tragedy, not only for the skydiving company and community, but the small community of Mission Beach.
“This is a really popular pastime down there, it attracts a lot of tourists. It just appears to be a tragic accident.”
The sites where the skydivers fell were declared crime scenes by police who seized several pieces of equipment.
It is understood the Coroner travelled to inspect the scenes last night and police will prepare a report.
Insp Kersley said there had been three other tandem jumpers on the same flight, but they all landed safely.
It is understood the Australian Parachute Federation, which is a partner organisation of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, will lead the investigation into the incident.