DRAPER, Utah – A man was critically injured in a paragliding accident Sunday afternoon when his parachute reportedly collapsed, and on Wednesday officials said the man died due to his injuries.
Officials said 32-year-old Eric Hill sustained critical injuries after his parachute collapsed around 3:00 p.m. Sunday in the area of the Flight Park State Recreation Area.
Officials said Wednesday Hill died while at University of Utah Hospital, which he had been taken to by helicopter following Sunday’s crash.
Officials said Sunday the man fell about 10 or 15 feet, and he struck the ground about 100 to 150 yards up the hillside, which officials said was very steep.
Battalion Chief Brian Anderton, Unified Fire Authority, said the way in which the man fell made his injuries more severe than might otherwise be expected for a fall from that height.
“The friend stated that his parachute had collapsed and instead of falling 10 to 15 feet, that he actually, like a pendulum swung into the mountain with some force, and, again, at this time he was transported in critical condition,” he said.
The nature of the terrain meant rescue crews had to use ropes to reach the man.
“In this kind of terrain we always want to take extra caution to protect the patient and our crews… they set up what we call a low-angle rescue device to lower the patient down the mountain just to avoid any further falls or injuries to the patient and our crews,” Anderton said.
Anderton said he did not know what level of experience the man had with paragliding.