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California Briefing

Lodi

2 sky divers die practicing stunt

September 15, 2009|Steve Chawkins

The FAA is investigating an accident that killed two sky divers near Lodi as they practiced a maneuver for a national competition next month.

Robert Bigley, 32, of Redwood City, Calif., and Barbara Cuddy, 48, of Carson City, Nev., fell to their deaths Sunday, according to San Joaquin County authorities.

Their parachutes became entangled at an altitude of about 6,000 feet as they worked with six other team members on a tight formation called "the wedge," said Bill Dause, owner of the Parachute Center in Acampo. Both sky divers wore secondary parachutes but neither deployed -- perhaps, Dause said, because lines may have wrapped around them.

Holders of various titles, both Bigley and Cuddy had logged thousands of jumps and were well-known in the sky-diving community. Members of their Red Line team are planning a memorial jump, Dause said.

-- Steve Chawkins

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