Sheriff’s Office looking for answers in skydiver’s death

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 April 2017 at 5:11 pm

Photo from Facebook: Erick Miller is shown with his wife, Amy.

BARRE – The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office has identified the skydiver who died Saturday evening in Barre as Erick J. Miller, 30, of Michele Drive, Rochester.

The Sheriff’s Office is continuing the investigation into Miller’s death.

Miller was an experienced skydiving instructor with over 700 civilian jumps. Witnesses report that the victim and another skydiver, both members of the WNY Sky Diving Club, left the Pine Hill Airport and made what is referred to as a “Sport Jump”  at about 7 p.m.

The second sky diver, upon arriving on the ground, could not locate the victim and immediately began a search for the victim. The jump plane took off from Pine Hill Airport to assist in the search.

Sheriff’s Office investigators are working with the Federal Aviation Administration in an attempt to determine the facts leading up to the incident that caused Mr. Miller’s tragic death, Undersheriff Chris Bourke said this afternoon.

The investigation indicates that the main parachute had deployed, possibly improperly, and was located nearby but was not connected to the victim. Many questions remain, such as why the backup chute was not deployed by the jumper or why didn’t it deploy automatically as it should have, Bourke said.

Experts from the FAA are examining the equipment and gear involved with this incident at the agency’s Rochester Office. Sheriff’s Office investigators are continuing to interview witnesses and search for information on this case. The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office is assisting in the investigation as well.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Investigator Kenneth Strickland at 585-590-4143.

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