British skydiver killed after colliding with fellow parachutist during record jump attempt

Keiron O'Rourke, 40, and German Bernd Schmehl, 51, were taking part in a jump involving 200 other skydivers

A highly experienced British skydiver has been killed after colliding with a fellow parachutist during a record jump attempt in Arizona.

Keiron O'Rourke, 40, and German Bernd Schmehl, 51, were taking part in a jump involving 200 other skydivers.

According to reports, Mr O’Rourke’s canopy collapsed following the collision which took place at below 300 feet.

Mr Schmehl died at the scene and Mr O’Rourke was declared dead after being taken to a nearby hospital.

Another skydiver was injured in a separate incident which police said was unconnected with the deaths of the two men.

"There were early reports that the mid-air collision involved three skydivers," said a police statement.

The men were veteran jumpers. O'Rourke had logged 849 jumps, 100 in the last six months, while Schmehl had made 1,707 jumps, 80 in the last six months.

There were early reports the midair collision involved three skydivers. But investigators determined the third skydiver was injured in a separate incident.

"Investigators have determined there was a third skydiver injured. However, the injury was not related to or caused by the mid-air collision between the other two skydivers."

The Eloy Police Department's criminal investigations division and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the deaths.

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