Upstate police are investigating whether the tragic skydiving accident that claimed the life of real estate investor and broker David Winoker and the instructor he was jumping in tandem with was caused by Mr. Winoker’s helmet.
After reviewing bruises on the throat of skydiving instructor Aleksandr Chulsky, 25, Plattekill police suspect that it could have been Mr. Winoker’s helmet that knocked the man unconscious mid-air.
[Chulsky] was right on top of [Winoker], holding him — it was [Winoker’s] first jump,” Plattekill Police Chief Joe Ryan told The New York Post. Mr. Winoker may have jerked his head up suddenly during the jump, connecting with Mr. Chulsky and causing him to lose consciousness.
Police originally suspected that Mr. Chulsky had passed out due to a pre-existing medical condition after he deployed both the drogue chute and parachute, causing both men to lose control as they hurtled towards the ground.
“When the chute was being deployed, the impact of Mr. Winoker’s head jerking backwards may have struck the instructor,” said Mr. Ryan.
Mr. Winoker, the president of Winoker Real Estate, was celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday at Skydive The Ranch at the time of the accident. Both men died of blunt force trauma, according to the Dutchess County Office of the Medical Examiner.
Mr. Winoker’s funeral was held last Sunday.