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September 21, 2014

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Skydiver, pilot treated after midair accident

Image

Tim Telford / Polk County Sheriff's Office

This photo released by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office shows a plane nose-diving into the ground after getting tangled with a parachutist, left, Saturday, March 8, 2014, at the South Lakeland Airport in Mulberry, Fla. Both the pilot and jumper were hospitalized with minor injuries.

MULBERRY, Fla. — A plane became entangled in the strings of a skydiver's parachute, sending both crashing into the ground near Tampa, Fla., with both the pilot and jumper hospitalized with minor injuries.

Polk County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Carrie Eleazer says 87-year-old pilot Shannon Trembley was doing takeoff and landing maneuvers Saturday in his Cessna at the South Lakeland Airport in Mulberry. On his third landing pass, the wing of his plane became entangled in the strings of 49-year-old Gainesville skydiver John Frost's parachute about 75 feet above the ground.

Frost was flung to the ground, and Trembley's plan nose-dived to the surface as well.

Eleazer says neither sustained serious injury, but went to the hospital. Frost was treated and released. Trembley was held for observations.

The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are investigating.

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