Skydiver killed during dive in E’town

Mike Kelly of Jefferson County died Saturday after an unsuccessful landing during a dive in Elizabethtown. Submitted photo

Mike Kelly, a Jefferson County resident and skydiving enthusiast, died Saturday after an unsuccessful landing during a dive in Elizabethtown.

The fatal injury occurred after Kelly made an unrecoverable turn too close to the ground when landing, according to a statement from Elizabethtown-based business Skydive Kentucky.

Kelly, 49, was an experienced skydiver with more than 200 jumps. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Skydive Kentucky owner and manager Jim Moore said Kelly had been parachuting with Skydive Kentucky since 2014. He said though Kelly had experience skydiving in other areas of the state, he seemed to enjoy diving at Addington Field in Elizabethtown the most.

“I saw he went to two or three other places, but 90 percent of his jumps were with us,” he said.

Moore said Kelly always offered a helping hand while visiting the airfield. He said he would help with mechanical problems at the airfield and by helping new divers overcome their shyness.

“He just enjoyed the people,” Moore said. “ ... He’s going to be missed.”

The official cause is under investigation by the Hardin County Coroner’s Office, the Elizabethtown Police Department and the Federal Aviation Administration.

In 2019, the United States Parachute Association reported 15 fatal skydiving accidents in the U.S. out of a total of more than 3 million jumps.

Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or acritchelow@thenewsenterprise.com.

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