On September 26, 2019, a 28-year-old woman from Colombia was skydiving at the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center. During her descent, she veered off course which caused her to collide with the rear of a semi-truck traveling down Highway 99. The woman then collided with the right shoulder of the freeway where she was later pronounced dead. The accident occurred at or around 2:15 PM on Highway 99 near Jahant Road in Lodi, California.
The woman, whose name has yet to be released, was on a skydiving trip with a group of seven people. All seven people reportedly dove at the same time and all but the victim in this matter landed safely. The incident caused shock and alarm to commuters on the freeway. In fact, several vehicles collided as a result of the incident. The No. 2 lane on Southbound Highway 99 was closed for several hours, causing severe traffic backups. Around 6:40 PM, California Highway Patrol reported that all lanes had been reopened.
This incident marks a string of tragedies to occur at the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center. Located at 23597 Frontage Road 99, the parachute center runs alongside Highway 99. At this location, skydivers are to land in an empty field at Front Road 99 and Jahant Road, parallel to the freeway. Although there are varying accounts as to just how many deaths have occurred as a result of skydiving at the Skydive Lodi Parachute Center, there is evidence to support that the fatality number is around 20 since 1999.
The most recent fatality occurred in 2018 when a 62-year-old woman from Colorado died at the site when her parachuting gear did not open. In 2016, a 42-year old skydiver died when his parachuting gear did not deploy. The many deaths at this location have occurred for a variety of reasons ranging from product malfunctions to improper licensing of skydiving instructors.
Skydive Lodi Parachute Center has yet to comment on this tragedy but there are reports that a representative from the center intends to meet with the media on Friday around 10:00 AM.
Investigations into this fatality are ongoing.