One dead after skydiving accident at Crete Airport

Medical response to Crete Airport following skydiving accident
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 12:31 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2022 at 4:46 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Crete Police Department is assisting the Federal Aviation Administration in the investigation of a fatal skydiving accident which occurred at the Crete Airport on Thursday.

According to witnesses, a pair of skydivers conducted a tandem jump late Thursday afternoon. They exited an aircraft, operated by Skydive Atlas LLC, and the parachute functioned properly, fully deploying. For unknown reasons, the pair did not sufficiently slow their descent as they approached the ground. Witnesses immediately notified emergency medical services and both Crete and Wilber Volunteer Fire and Rescue Departments responded.

The experienced parachutist, identified as 56-year-old Romulo Suarez of Crete, survived and was transported to Bryan West with life-threatening injuries. The other skydiver was taken to Crete Area Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The Crete Police Department is not releasing the man’s name as family is attempting to make notifications to other relatives outside of Nebraska.

Skydive Atlas released a press release in regards to the incident:

The Skydive Atlas Family is grieving today after the tragic loss of a novice skydiver and serious injury to an experienced tandem master. The incident took place on Thursday, Sept. 15 during the final descent of a typical skydive, but at this time it’s not possible to precisely know what the cause of the accident, so we won’t speculate.

An investigation is underway.

Safety has been and must be our top priority, every day, and every jump. Each skydiver and each Skydive Atlas team member receives thorough training and counseling. Skydive Atlas, a member of the U.S. Parachute Association Group, has performed nearly 20,000 safe jumps since starting business in 2005. The tandem master involved has more than 1,800 jumps alone.

Sean Tillery, owner- operator of Skydive Atlas has more than 13,000 personal jumps and is committed to safely introducing people to the sport, which is growing in its appeal nationwide.

Stay with for updates on this developing story.