A mum-of-eight was one of three people killed in a skydiving accident in Australia.
Kerri Pike, 50, and two skydiving instructors, Peter Dawson and Toby Turner, both in their thirties, died at Mission Beach in Queensland, Australia today during a collision in mid-air which prevented their parachutes from deploying.
She was attached to one instructor in a tandem jump, while the other instructor was diving alone, reports The Courier Mail.
Mrs Pike had been given the skydive as a present for her fiftieth birthday by her eight children and husband Alister at a birthday dinner on Thursday evening.
There were three other tandem jumpers on the same flight, all of whom landed safely.
The bodies of the three people killed were recovered close together in a scrub area surrounded by rainforest.
“It’s all happened on my property or partly on my property,” said local man Ken Barnes.
“I was in having a shower … then I just heard the sirens coming in.
“All of a sudden, there’s a dozen or 20 police here.”
— Kathy McLeish (@kathymcleish1) October 13, 2017
Skydive Australia has offered its “deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the individuals and families involved and the broader skydiving community.”
Skydiving has been suspended at Mission Beach while police investigate the incident.
It’s a popular pastime in the area, supported by locals and tourists alike.
“It is an absolute tragedy for the area, for the whole region and the whole industry,” local councillor Wayne Kimberley told The Australian.
“We will be supporting anything the industry needs. Tourism is a very, very important part of our region, particularly in Mission Beach.”