A skydiving accident has taken the life of a well-known voice-over actor from Houston, the Houston Chronicle reports. Rand Schell, who did work for The Walking Dead, among other projects, collided with another skydiver in mid-air. He was known to be a very experienced skydiver, along with the man he hit, Denis Wolf, and investigators aren’t sure what caused the collision. The men were participating in a group jump at the time. Wolf suffered a broken rib from the crash, and broke a leg on his landing, but is expected to recover.
Schell, unfortunately, did not survive the fall. Investigators believe that he was probably knocked unconscious during the collision. Because of this, he wasn’t able to release his backup parachute and died on landing. Both divers had apparently already completed successful jumps earlier that day.
The accident happened at Skydive Spaceland, a skydiving center just outside Houston. The center was called the largest skydiving center in the Greater Houston area by Skydive Magazine. It’s been in business since 1999 and has locations Florida and Georgia. They were the location of another high-profile skydiving accident that precipitated legal action in 2012. The family of Rex Williams filed suit against the firm, claiming there was gross negligence causing Williams’ death. Williams was a student at the skydiving school, and had fallen to his death while under the guidance of an instructor. He was unable to release his parachute on time, and hit the ground at approximately 120 miles per hour.
During the civil suit, a Skydive Spaceland executive admitted that there had been 7 deaths at their facilities. However, since those deaths were out of an estimated 1 million jumps, he did not believe that it represented an underlying issue with how the company was run. Williams’ death was the only student death, he said, and the others involved experienced divers who made mistakes or had accidents. In the end, the lawsuit was settled out of court.
Skydiving is obviously not without its risks, however, injuries and deaths are becoming much less common. According to the U.S. Parachuting Association, there were 21 fatalities while skydiving in 2015, compared to 4.2 million jumps. In the 1970s there were an average of 43 deaths a year, and the yearly average has now settled in at 22, even with a massive increase in the number of jumps, up to almost double what they were 40 years ago.
Despite getting safer over the years skydiving can still be quite dangerous, as evidenced by the death of Schell. There are many ways that an accident could happen. Simple human error, even by the most experienced diver, is always a concern. Equipment could also fail, or there could be a problem with the plane. If you’ve been injured or someone who you know has died in an accident, whether it be from skydiving or otherwise, make sure to contact an attorney to fight for your rights and help you get compensation.

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