Skydiving Trainer Dies In Jumping Accident; 1 Other Injured - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Skydiving Trainer Dies In Jumping Accident; 1 Other Injured

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James "Jimmy" Horak Jr. James "Jimmy" Horak Jr.

UPDATE: Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel has released the name of the student skydiver injured in an accident in Lumberton over the weekend.

Rigel says 26-year-old David Meek is from Paintsville, Ky. At last check, he was in the intensive care-unit in critical condition at Forrest General Hospital.

LUMBERTON, Miss. - A skydiving trainer is dead tonight after a Saturday morning jump in Lamar County.

The facility, Gold Coast Skydivers, is based out of I. H. Bass Jr. Memorial Airport in Lumberton.

"Jimmy is the nicest guy that a person could ever know," said Leanne Igo, owner of gold coast skydivers.

She said around 10:30 Saturday morning, a group of about 20 went up in the air for a jump, but two of them did not return.

"We sent out some jumpers to find them," she said.

Skydiving trainer James Horak Jr. was attached to a student skydiver.

"The instructor is wearing a parachute, the student is wearing a harness that's attached to both the instructor and the parachute system," Igo said.

She said after three hours of a helicopter searching for them, they notified the Lamar County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities found Horak dead and the student injured.

"Jim is just nice, genuine, soft spoken, and very safety conscious," she said.

Lamar County Coroner Blake Davis said there's no official ruling on what caused his death, but it's possible that there was an equipment malfunction.

The name of the student is not being released. At last check he was in critical condition at Forrest General Hospital.

Igo said Horak was from Pensacola, Fla. and he flew in at times to help out with the skydiving. She said he was married with three children.

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  • Donesha Aldridge

    Donesha Aldridge

    I am a Digital Journalist here at WHLT. My earliest dreams about becoming a reporter started at 4-years-old. I can remember growing up as a child pretending to be an anchor and making my younger brother
    Donesha Aldridge's earliest dreams about becoming a reporter started at 4-years-old. She remembers growing up as a child pretending to be an anchor and making her younger brother
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