A skydiver was injured Sunday in Chippewa County when parachute problems caused him to descend at a faster rate of speed than normal.
Chad R. Pritchett, 42, of Somerset, was skydiving shortly after noon Sunday near Bateman Airport, 6482 Highway K, in the town of Lafayette when the incident occurred. After Pritchett deployed the main chute, a secondary chute opened, tangling with the main chute and causing him to be traveling faster than normal when striking the ground, according to a news release from the Chippewa County sheriff's office.
It was unknown why the secondary chute opened, as it was reported that Pritchett is an experienced skydiver and an instructor.
Chippewa Fire District and EMS responded and attended to the injuries of Pritchett, who was conscious when he was flown by helicopter to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, the news release said.
The Pritchett family has established a GoFundMe page to help cover medical bills. The page indicates that Pritchett, a father of five who has two children still living at home, has no health insurance and will need multiple surgeries to his hips and legs. It reports he has several broken bones and a compound tibia/fibula fracture.
The fundraiser, at gofundme.com/pritchett-family-fundraiser, had attracted pledges of $6,505 toward its $50,000 goal in the first 20 hours.