JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — A parachutist died Friday night in a skydiving accident at a Tennessee high school football game.
The skydiver crashed during a pregame celebration for the matchup between David Crockett and Daniel Boone High Schools in a rivalry game called the Musket Bowl.
The skydiver was skydiving through Jump TN, a company in Greeneville, Tennessee. The company said he had completed over 1,500 jumps.
“The deceased was a highly experienced jumper with decades of experience to their credit and a well-respected member of the skydiving community,” said Jump TN. “The entire skydiving community is saddened by the sudden loss of a wonderful member of their community.”
At past Musket Bowl games, skydivers have been part of the pre-game activities.
“Since it was David Crockett’s new field, it was their first game, [the] first Musket Bowl on their new field. So I guess they were trying to celebrate it,” said Daniel Boone sophomore, Tyler Smith.
Smith remembered the crowd’s reaction when the skydiver got to the ground.
“Everyone was shocked, surprised and they didn’t know what to do. There [were] people rushing over and then the police got a hold of the situation,” said Smith.
A witness, who wanted to remain anonymous, was at the game with his family. His daughter watched first responders check the skydiver’s pulse.
“The guy checked his pulse and from his reaction – him shaking his head – it wasn’t a good sign. He either had a weak pulse or no pulse,” said the witness.
After the accident, there was a moment of silence. The decision was then made to continue with the game.
“It was determined the impact on the whole community and that witnessed and experienced the situation to try to introduce some sense of normal that we began the night as,” said Superintendent for Washington County Schools Jerry Boyd.
Counselors will be available to the students at both high schools on Monday. The school district said it has not yet decided if they will continue to have skydivers at their games.
“At this point, I don’t know. It’s not unreasonable to have that response, but this is definitely unimaginable,” said Boyd.
The skydiver’s identity has not been released by officials.