LAKE WALES - A 27-year-old Winter Haven man, who serves as an "ambassador" with the Sebring Chamber of Commerce, suffered serious injuries from a skydiving accident Sunday in Polk County, authorities said.
Victor Bryie was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where he remains in serious but stable condition.
At approximately 3:15 p.m, Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to Highway 60 and Old Bartow Road, Lake Wales, in reference to a to a downed parachutist, states a news release.
Authorities found Bryie near a fence approximately 25 yards from Highway 60, just east of Viking Recycling.
A second victim, Shaun Phillips, United Kingdom, had gone to Lake Wales Hospital, but was not admitted.
According to Phillips, both he and Bryie had jumped at 14,000 feet. They were performing a Canopy Relative Work maneuver. At 9,000 feet, Phillips was above Bryie and told authorities that Bryie came up under him too fast with an open chute, the news release adds.
Both victims became entangled with Phillip's ankle in Bryie's parachute lines. As they were falling, Phillip's chute was still open but Bryie's was completely "cocooned" in his lines, authorities said.
"Bryie attempted to pull his reserve chute and the cut away for the main chute, but neither deployed because of the lines wrapped around him. At approximately 3,000 feet the line broke and Phillips was freed from the lines and continued to come down with a full parachute. He advised he attempted to follow Bryie who was spinning horizontally while fully wrapped in lines and his parachute was only partially open," the news release adds.
Both victims landed at the same general location. The FAA was notified of the incident.