Friday, July 14, 2017

Skydiver did not deploy parachute; he sent wife video before he jumped

Experienced skydiver Capotorto Vitantonio jumped from a plane Tuesday morning about 10 a.m., just seconds before the crew received an urgent message from dispatchers on the ground, urging them to stop him.

But it was too late.

DeLand Police said Vitantonio jumped and did not pull the cord to open his parachute, according to a revised police report released Friday.

On Tuesday, Costansa Litellini, 25, ran into the Skydive Deland building on Flightline Boulevard, begging employee Tara Richards to stop her husband from sky diving.

Litellini had just received a video from him, saying he was “not going to pull the cord and that he was going somewhere wonderful,” police said.

Richards immediately radioed the plane, according to a police report, but Vitantonio, 27, had already jumped.

Richards told police she had seen Vitantonio before the flight and “he had seemed normal.”

She could not be reached for comment Friday.

Police were called to Skydive Deland on Tuesday in reference to an injured skydiver.

Officials began to search for Vitantonio from the sky and the ground.

They eventually found him face down in an open field near the runway.

A chaplain was called to the scene to let Litellini know that Vitantonio had died.

The United States Parachute Association, of which Skydive Deland is a member, reported 21 fatalities related to skydiving in 2016 out of 3.2 million estimated jumps by its members.

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