Ellington residents not surprised by Sunday’s deadly parachuting accident

Photo Courtesy: Leyden Police Chief Daniel Galvis

ELLINGTON, Conn. (WWLP) – What started out as an adventure in the sky, ended with tragedy on the ground in Ellington Connecticut on Sunday.

Springfield resident and Leyden Police Detective Lieutenant James Hansmann, died following a parachuting accident at the landing pad by Ellington Airport. Police said he died at the hospital, after he was critically injured in a “hard landing.”

22News went back to Connecticut Parachutists Inc. on Monday, but no one was there to answer our questions.

Many of the residents who live in Ellington said while Sunday’s deadly accident was tragic, it’s not the first time they’ve heard of something like this happening. In 2002, a skydiving instructor was killed when his parachute failed to open.

Emerson Aborn lives down the street from Connecticut Parachutists Inc. He told 22News, he knew something was wrong as soon as he heard the sirens by the landing pad. “It’s happened before. I didn’t actually see this one come down, but I knew something was wrong when the ambulances and fire trucks came out,” he said.

Connecticut State Police said they’re not investigating the 62-year-old’s death, because it’s not a criminal matter.

The manager of Connecticut Parachutist Inc. told 22News on Sunday it was simply an accident that had nothing to do with the equipment Hansmann had been using.

Harry Levesque works next door to the Ellington Airport, where Connecticut Parachutists Inc. is located. “I think most people know that there is that possibility. I know a few people who are in that jump club as a matter of fact, and they don’t bring it up or talk about it too much, but I think they all know that it’s a possibility,” he said.

Connecticut Parachutists Inc. makes their customers sign a waiver that says they understand that parachuting, can be dangerous, and even deadly.