MARION, Mont. – Authorities say a seasoned skydiver died in an accident in Flathead County over the weekend.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office says on Saturday, Aug. 10, they responded to an accident in Marion at the Skydive Lost Prairie event.

The skydiver was pronounced dead at the scene. He’s identified as Gerald F. Fischer, 81, of Minnesota. 

Witnesses said Fischer experienced a “hard opening" of his parachute after he jumped out of the plane. A hard opening is when a parachute abruptly jolts open instead of gradually opening to decelerate the jumper, according to skydiving safety websites. Hard openings are known to cause severe injuries and even death.

The sheriff’s office says Fischer was a seasoned skydiver with more than 2,000 jumps.

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