Two Skydivers Killed in Mesquite Parachute Accident

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Mesquite Police Officers responded to the Mesquite Municipal Airport Sunday on a reported skydiving accident involving an instructor and a participant who were performing a tandem jump. 

Upon arrival, Mesquite Fire and Rescue performed lifesaving procedures on the participant and instructor, a St. George man, who were part of a group of five tandem jumpers from a local skydiving club.

The 71-year-old female participant, Claudette Porter, was transported to Mesa View Regional Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. 

The instructor, 60-year-old James Fonnesbeck, who has over 30 years experience and more than 11,000 previous jumps, was pronounced dead at the scene.  Witnesses stated it appeared to be a possible equipment related malfunction.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene and took custody of the deceased and their parachute for further investigation in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Note: the video of this story was shot by Adam Metcalf. The photo shows James Fonnesbeck skydiving along with a female passenger in an undated Facebook photo. The photo is not related to Sunday’s accident.