David Winoker, principal of the real estate investment and services firm Winoker Realty, died Friday.
According to several sources, Mr. Winoker was killed in a skydiving accident in Ulster County. He was 49.
Mr. Winoker, according to colleagues and friends, was jumping in tandem with an instructor named Alex Chulsky of Brooklyn in celebration of a friend’s 50th birthday. The two men perished when their parachute either failed to open or malfunctioned and were found dead in a field. The cause of the accident is being investigated by the FAA according to reports.
A person at Skydive The Ranch, the company that was overseeing the jump and employed Mr. Chulsky, told The Commercial Observer that the parachute was found open but had suffered a malfunction. That account could not be confirmed on Sunday.
“Skydiving is an inherently dangerous sport,” the person at Skydive The Ranch said. “That’s why jumpers have to sign a waiver before they participate.”
An officer at the Platteskill police department near where the tragedy took place would not give The Commercial Observer any information on the incident.
A person who answered the phone at Mr. Winoker’s home in Chappaqua on Saturday afternoon confirmed to The Commercial Observer that he had passed away but would not discuss the cause of death. Mr. Winoker is survived by his wife and three children.
Taking over the real estate business started by his father Sidney, Mr. Winoker continued to expand its brokerage operations, overseeing a staff of more than 12 brokers. The company owns several office buildings, many of them in the Garment District, a neighborhood where it also does much of its leasing business.
Last year, in an interview with The Commercial Observer, Mr. Winoker discussed his company’s growth and how it was picking up increasing tenant representation and landlord agency assignments. Sources who knew Mr. Winoker hailed his success in broadening the company’s business beyond its own real estate into third party leasing services.
Mr. Winoker’s funeral services will be held on Sunday in Mount Kisco.