Authorities identify two killed in skydiving crash near Minden-Tahoe airport
Two people are dead after a skydiving crash near the Minden-Tahoe Airport on Thursday morning.
Captain Dan Coverley with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirms that 43-year-old Ashlie Caceras of Lodi, California and 21-year-old David Becker of Sankt Martin, Germany died as a result of the crash.
The skydivers were jumping with Skydive Lake Tahoe which is a company that operates out of the Minden-Tahoe Airport.
According to owner Dave Crouch, Caceras was a qualified tandem instructor who had at least 1,500 jumps.
A total of four parachutists jumped, which includes two students attached to two instructors. Caceras was the the guide and Becker was the patron. Crouch says that Becker and a friend were visiting the area from Germany.
In a statement released by the FAA, two inspectors are en route to the scene. Spokesman Ian Gregor says in tandem accidents, the FAA typically investigates whether the instructor was properly credentialed and whether the parachute was properly packed by the appropriate person.
Captain Terry Taylor with the East Fork Fire Protection District confirms that the parachutists landed in the driveway of the Public Works Department located at 1120 Airport Dr. just before 10:15 a.m. The Carson Valley Times reports there is a chaplain on scene.
Captain Coverley says that airport activities are unaffected, however, Skydive Lake Tahoe will be closed for the remainder of the day. The owner was unsure if the company would reopen on Friday.
Officials are working to interview all witnesses.
The cause of the incident has not been determined, but officials say heat was not a factor and there were no strong winds.
According to the United States Parachute Association out of 3.2 million jumps in 2016, there were 21 fatalities in the United States.
This is a developing story. Check back with us for details.