Skydiving Grandad Plunges To Death During High School Football Ceremony

Photo: Getty Images-photosbyjim

Newly released video captured the moment a skydiving stunt went horribly wrong, leading to the death of a grandfather ahead of a Tennessee high school football game. Richard Sheffield, 55, died in full view of horrified spectators after a “hard landing” on the field of David Crockett High School in Jonesborough Friday night, according to The Daily Mail. Footage of the incident published by WJHL-TV showed Sheffield spinning around in a circle as he descended close to the ground with his parachute deployed.

Terrified fans on the ground were heard shrieking and screaming as the skydiver plummeted towards the ground at a speed that appeared way too fast for a safe landing. The video was frozen before the deadly impact. Sheffield was part of a group of paratroopers that traditionally entertain fans before the school’s “Musket Bowl” and had more than 1500 jumps to his credit, his group Jump TN told the local station. The group said there was nothing out of the ordinary about his dive or the parachute which was reportedly deployed without incident. “The deceased was a highly experienced jumper with decades of experience to their credit and a well-respected member of the skydiving community.” Jump TN reportedly said.

“The entire skydiving community is saddened by the sudden loss of a wonderful member of their community.” Sheffield was airlifted to a hospital where he died following the botched stunt, according to local media outlets. Sheffield reportedly left behind his wife of 38 years and was remembered by his son as the best “Dad, husband, and Pops there was” in a lengthy and emotional Facebook post Saturday. “One thing Dad loved the most was going fast, and that’s how he went out,” Stacey Sheffield wrote. “People look at what we do and say it’s crazy, and well, maybe it is, but Dad lived a full life, and he taught us to do the same. He made an impact on everyone he met.” The football game reportedly went on as scheduled following a moment of silence.

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