Sunday, September 28, 2014

Eldon Burrier and Andrew Munson: Fatal accident occurred September 28, 2014 in Marstons Mill, Barnstable, Massachusetts

  Eldon Burrier
Photo Courtesy of Skydive Barnstable 

Eldon Burrier had teamed up Sunday with Andrew Munson of Nantucket in a tandem jump from the Cape Cod Airfield in Marstons Mills, a jump that ended with both men fatally injured when they missed the landing zone and slammed into a shed in a backyard.

Munson was 29 years old. Burrier, who was 48, had ties to Washington state.

In an e-mail signed Skydive Barnstable Management, the company said it believed that Burrier tried to save both parachutists’ lives before impact.

“We know without a doubt that Eldon died bravely doing what he loved while doing everything he could to protect his student Andrew,’’ the company said without explanation. “Both jumpers were obviously incredibly special individuals.’’

Burrier was popular among co-workers and in the skydiving community. “He was a great guy with a passion for sharing the sky with his students, had a great sense of humor, and loved golf, playing with the dogs on the airfield, and had an affinity for making friends anywhere he went,’’ the statement said.

“There are countless times where the team would go out for a dinner and find Eldon making new friends at other tables,’’ the statement added.

Munson and Burrier are the 22d and 23d persons to die this year in skydiving accidents, which include a Mattapan man who was killed skydiving in Pepperell this summer.

In 2010, the Seattle Times reported that Burrier was rescued after his parachute got caught on a rock outcropping in Washington state. He spent the night dangling 600 feet off the ground. According to that article, Burrier was a landscaper and former Army paratrooper.

Munson was a longtime employee of Don Allen Ford on Nantucket, where his large circle of friends included co-workers, beach volleyball players, and his neighbors on Polpis Road.

Andrew Munson (center) was killed in a skydiving accident on Sunday.

Andrew Joel "Andy" Munson 


NANTUCKET - Andrew Joel Munson, 29, of Nantucket, formerly of Goshen, died Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, in a skydiving accident on Cape Cod.

Andy grew up in Goshen and Williamsburg, and attended local schools. He trained as an automotive technician in Illinois, before moving to Nantucket in 2005. He was employed by Don Allen Ford, where he was known for his skills as a mechanic, and where he served as shop foreman and head technician.

He was passionate about many sports and wanted everyone to experience and love them as he did, whether running obstacle courses, bicycling, playing volleyball, or pursuing his latest passion of kite boarding. In winter, he played hockey, enjoyed snowboarding throughout the country, and was always ready for the next challenge. Andy's high spirits and zest for life brought him friends wherever he went. He came home frequently to visit family in western Massachusetts, where he remained connected to lifelong friends in the hilltowns.

Andy is survived by his son Kolton of Illinois; his sister Megan Thompson-Munson; step-mother Anita Thompson of Goshen; his father Vaughn and partner Amy Carey of Deerfield; his birth mother Teresa Munson; his grandmother Alice Munson of Florence; and many aunts, uncles and cousins including Marion Delimat, Wayne and Terry Munson, and Sean Munson.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate the life of Andy Munson Sunday, Oct. 5, at 2 p.m. at Wyckoff Country Club in Holyoke.

Donations can be made to the Andrew Munson Memorial Fund for the benefit of Kolton Munson, c/o Easthampton Savings Bank, 21 Locust St., Northampton, MA 01060.

The Ahearn Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories, go to

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Eldon Burrier

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) — The two skydivers killed after they crashed into a building during a tandem jump on Cape Cod appeared to be having problems as they descended, police said. 

Andrew Munson, of Nantucket, and his instructor, Eldon Burrier, of West Lynnwood, Washington, died Sunday while skydiving at the Marstons Mills Airport in Barnstable, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe and Barnstable Police Chief Paul McDonald said in a joint statement Monday.

Munson, 29, and Burrier, 48, were involved in a tandem jump from a plane operated by Skydive Barnstable. They struck a shed on private property adjacent to the airport at about 5:15 p.m. Sunday.

Witnesses told police the pair appeared to be in trouble, descending too fast and out of control.

"We were notified that a student and an instructor were descending at a fairly high rate of speed having a problem with their chute," Sgt. Ben Baxter said.

Homeowner John Theriault said he rushed to the aid of both men while his wife called 911, and then stayed with them offering comfort until emergency personnel arrived.

The deaths remain under investigation.

The skydiving school said it would have no comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

"As we find out more we'll be able to make a statement but until then we ask you to respect our privacy," a school representative said in an email to the Cape Cod Times. "Our hearts go out to all family members of everyone involved."

A skydiving accident in Barnstable left two dead. 

(Photo by

UPDATE: HN just received word that both skydivers died from their injuries… (stand by for updates)

 MARSTONS MILLS – At about 5:20pm, rescue and police rushed to 885 Race Lane (right across the street from the Cape Cod Airfield in Marstons Mills) for a report of two tandem parachutists falling from the sky at a speed that was too fast.

A neighbor heard what he thought was a frantic guttural voice saying ‘I’ll break your fall…’

Sources on scene report the two men crashed into the side of a barn and landed in a horse corral…

Rescue workers sprinted to the stricken parachutists’ aid, rushing both men up onto stretchers and into two separate ambulances. Both were suffering from grave and serious injuries…

Rescue workers rushed both patients toward CCH … and then reportedly to the Hyannis Airport to be medflighted. One source at the airport believes one the patients appeared to be returned from the helicopter back into the ambulance. An ambulance then left the airport in the direction of CCH using emergency lights and sirens.

UPDATE: Sources tell HN that both patients were not medflighted, and returned to CCH from the airport…

Back at the scene of the accident, Barnstable and State Police CPAC detectives are investigating…

The  video highlights the scene with rescue workers doing their best to save these lives. It also shows the crash scene, parachute, and gear…

Story, Comments, Photo Gallery and Video:


MARSTONS MILLS, Mass. ( -- A skydiving instructor and student were both killed in a parachuting incident on Sunday in Cape Cod, according to the Barnstable Police Department.

The two skydivers, who were jumping in tandem, landed beyond the intended landing area at Cape Cod Airport and hit the property across the street at 885 Race Lane, according to the Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Fire Department.

Fire and ambulance personnel arrived on scene and brought both individuals to Cape Cod Hospital. A Medflight helicopter was requested to be on standby for possible transfer to a trauma center.

The circumstances of the crash are being investigated.

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