DRAPER — A paraglider died when he crashed into an LDS church building Sunday morning, Draper police reported.
The pilot was Jim H. Petersen of Bluffdale, 57, according to police.
Crews responded to a report of the crash at 8:55 a.m., just five minutes before services at a church building near 272 E. Traverse Point Road were about to begin, said Draper Police Sgt. Chad Carpenter.
Petersen was maneuvering a fan-powered glider when he crashed into the roof of the church, police said. He died at the scene.
"Something happened where he lost control and crashed," Carpenter said.
Witnesses indicated the hang glider chute partially collapsed, causing the glider to spiral downward, police said.
"We're talking to witnesses, gathering info to try to piece together what happened," Carpenter said.
Police are investigating whether the crash could have been caused by either a malfunction with the glider or a medical condition of its pilot.
"It's one of those things you don't ever want to see happen," Carpenter said.
The church was evacuated shortly after the crash, Carpenter said, and services at the building were canceled for the rest of the day.
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DRAPER, Utah, Aug. 21, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A paraglider killed Sunday morning when he crashed through the roof an LDS chapel in Draper has been identified.
The pilot of the glider has been identified as Jim H. Petersen, 57, of Bluffdale, Utah, who died at the scene, said Sgt. Chad Carpenter, Draper City Police Department.
First responders were called to scene at 272 E. Traverse Point Road and 14700 South about 8:55 a.m., Carpenter said.
When they arrived, they found the paraglider deceased, with his body entangled inside the roof’s structure.
There were churchgoers at the ward house when the accident happened. Witnesses indicated the glider chute partially collapsed, causing the glider to spiral toward the ground.
Eyewitness Eric Serra told Gephardt Daily he was driving by when realized the paraglider was in trouble.
“I looked up and saw he’d lost control of his parasail. He went into a steep spiral and slammed into the roof of the church,” Serra said. “I thought he would be injured, but I can’t believe he was killed.”
Church services were just minutes from getting underway at the time of the accident.
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