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Skydiving accident claims life of experienced skydiver

Skydive Palatka 052513 (Lorena Inclan)
Skydivers in Putnam County arriving at Skydive Palatka after jump (Lorena Inclan)
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Updated: 5/26/2013 8:25 am
PALATKA, Fla. -- A local skydiver died Saturday afternoon in Palatka.

According to the Palatka Police Department, it happened at Skydive Palatka located on Reid Street.

Investigators said 72 year-old Lawrence Leroy Elmore from Keystone Heights went for a routine jump when people on the ground saw him spinning very fast and noticed his parachute did not open.

Elmore was an experienced skydiver having done more than 6,000 jumps.

"He was a good guy, he used to be a Navy pilot and worked for TWA. He's always given a lot back to the sport," said Art Schaffer, Owner of Skydive Palatka.

It's not the first time Skydive Palatka has had a similar incident. According to Schaffer, two years ago someone also died after he never pulled their parachute.

Action News spoke to a family friend who did not want be identified. According to her, Elmore has been skydiving for more than 25 years and can't believe this happened.

"I have made multiple jumps with Larry and some were a little more reckless than others but that was just Larry's personality," said the family friend.

The Palatka Police Department is still investigating the incident and do not suspect foul play at this time.

Elmore's friends find comfort in knowing he died doing what he loved.

"If you're going to go it's great to be able to go doing what you love and Larry definitely loved skydiving. He lived for it," said the family friend.

Elmore leaves behind two adult children.

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