Woman dies after parachuting into semitrailer on California highway, officials say

A 28-year-old woman is dead after she parachuted and hit the back of a semitrailer on a California highway.

California Highway Patrol Valley Division officials told KOVR that the woman was in a group with six other sky divers with Skydive Lodi Parachute Center in Acampo, California, on Thursday.

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"At about 2 p.m., witnesses reported about seven parachutists descending. One of the parachutists collided with the rear trailer of a big rig truck-tractor combination," CHP Officer Reuben Jones told KXTV.

"After that impact, she then fell and impacted the righthand shoulder of southbound 99, south of Jahant," Jones said. "Due to those two impacts, due to the blunt force trauma, she was pronounced dead on scene."

The San Joaquin County Coroner's Office identified the woman as 28-year-old Maria Vallejo, of Colombia, KCRA reported. She was blown off course when she collided with the vehicle.

"We are heartbroken at the recent tragedy of an experienced jumper and member of our community. It is a sorrowful time, and we are all grieving," Skydive Lodi Parachute Center said in a statement Friday to KOVR. "As experienced jumpers, we accept the risks inherent in the sport and do everything possible to minimize these risks. Unfortunately, at this time we cannot comment any further out of respect for the jumper and the jumper's family.

"Our prayers go out to the family.”

KOVR reported that the death is the latest involving the skydiving center, which says it is one of the largest and oldest drop zones in the United States. The local station reported six people have died in the last four years.

KCRA reported the most recent death involving the center before this one was on Oct. 14, 2018. In that death, a woman's parachute didn't open in a jump.

CHP, National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the accident, KCRA reported.

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