Three Ft. Bragg soldiers were seriously injured in a night training parachute jump in Homestead, Florida early Tuesday morning. The Army’s parachute team, the Golden Knights, were at Homestead Air Force Reserve Base in Miami-Dade County, where they frequently train during the winter months.
Kelli Bland, a spokesperson for the US Army Recruiting Command, said that the soldiers were training for an upcoming night-time demonstration. It is believed that the three soldiers may have collided during the jump, but that remains under investigation. The accident happened at 4:00 a.m. during a low-altitude jump.
The Army said that the trio were all being treated at the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital after Miami-Dade Fire Rescue received a 4:06 a.m. call on Tuesday. Two of the soldiers were in critical condition and one was in serious condition, according to Bland.
Donna Dixon, a civilian who works for the Golden Knights at Ft. Bragg stated that the jumpers were conducting “night operations” when something went wrong during free fall around 4 a.m.
According to WRAL Channel 5 in North Carolina, one soldier was seen moving his arms and legs, another with his arms bent above his head while the third kept his hands and arms folded on his chest.
The WRAL video from the Florida EMT helicopters can be seen here:
The names of the three soldiers were being held until the Army notified the families.
The Golden Knights were first formed in 1959 and have performed over 16,000 shows in all 50 states and 48 different countries. They adopted the nickname, “The Golden Knights” in 1962. They consist of nearly 100 soldiers in four different jump teams and an aviation detachment. They annually compete in skydiving competitions around the globe and hold 348 different world records.
To get a feel of what is like to jump with the Golden Knights and skydive out of a military aircraft, check out the video made by the Knights right here:
Photo: US Army