Skydiver seriously injured in Wantage

A skydiver with hundreds of jumps under his belt sustained serious injuries when he hit the ground hard in Wantage Thursday.

According to New Jersey State Police, the victim was injured at Sussex Airport while skydiving with Skydive Sussex. The skydiver's parachute did open before he hit the ground, police say.

The victim was being treated at Morristown Medical Center Thursday night. Scans showed no brain injuries, but the victim sustained internal injuries and injuries to his pelvis, according to Skydive Sussex employees who visited the victim.

"He initiated a very low turn, which built speed," said Skydive Sussex co-owner Curt Kellinger, who also jumped from the plane. "And he struck the ground before he leveled out." Kellinger said the victim's parachute was "fully functional" and that the victim "flew his parachute down for two to three minutes" before hitting the ground at an estimated 60 to 70 mph.

The skydiver, whose name hasn't been released, is described as "experienced" and "confident," with as many as 800 jumps under his belt. He is in his 30s.

Kellinger has reviewed video from the skydiver's helmet camera with investigators, who now have the video.

Skydive Sussex staff describe the victim as a friend. The business closed for the rest of the day.

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