Columbia man dies in skydiving accident - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Columbia man dies in skydiving accident

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Wolfgang "Pete" Langehans (Source: skydivecarolina.com) Wolfgang "Pete" Langehans (Source: skydivecarolina.com)
CHESTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

A 65-year-old Columbia man died in a skydiving accident near the Chester Municipal Airport on Sunday afternoon.

The Chester County Coroner's Office has identified the victim as Wolfgang "Pete" Langehans of Taylor Street. The office says he jumped from 14,000 feet.

Langehans succumbed to injuries after his parachute malfunctioned and didn't open during a jump at Skydive Carolina, where he was a staff member.

The incident happened at approximately 3 p.m.

"The jumper was highly experienced having amassed in excess of 5,500 jumps over the course of thirty plus years in the sport," stated a Skydive Carolina news release. "Details of the events that led to the fatal injuries are currently unclear and are being investigated."

"It's a very tragic loss for me," said Skydive Carolina owner Danny Smith.

Smith says Langehans was his best friend and had actually made several jumps on Sunday before the fatal jump.

"We had a great day together yesterday from the time he arrived at the skydive center until the accident happened, so I'm still in shock," he said.

He says what he'll miss the most about his best friend is his infectious personality.

"He was very friendly. He had a smile on his face all the time. To my knowledge he didn't have any enemies," said Smith.

"It's an unfortunate and sad day for all of us here for our Skydive Carolina family and of course his immediately family, but I know Pete. He would want us to continue on spreading the love of skydiving to anyone you can because it's an incredible sport," he continued.

Langehans is listed as a videographer on Skydive Carolina's website. A representative on Monday said Langehans was not working as a videographer at the time of the accident.

Langehans worked for several state agencies in South Carolina dating back to the 1980's, including the Department of Public Safety and Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. His last position with the state was Associate Deputy Director for the SC Criminal Justice Academy from 2000-2003 when he retired.

The FAA is investigating.

An autopsy was planned for Monday afternoon.

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Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved. WBTV contributed to this report.

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