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Kingston man had recovered from 2001 car wreck to become experienced skydiver

KINGSTON — A Kingston man who died in a skydiving accident July 30 in Flathead County, Mont. had rebounded from a February 2001 car wreck that left his lower body paralyzed and limited his motor skills.

Zack Fogle, a North Kitsap High School student at the time of the wreck, had faced the challenging recovery head on, regaining some mobility and going on to become an experienced skydiver. “I don’t have a choice. I can't leave or run away,” Zack Fogle told the Herald in an April 2001 story. “... I want to get everything back.”

Fogle, 27, was killed after his parachute failed to open in a jump at Lost Prairie near Marion, according to the Flathead County Sheriff's Office. An investigation found that Fogle did not pull a manual parachute release and a backup release that would have opened Fogle's emergency parachute had not been properly activated before he dropped from the plane.

Fogle died immediately on impact, Flathead Undersheriff and Coroner Jason White said Monday. The death was ruled accidental.

Fogle had limited mobility in his extremities because of an injury he sustained in a car wreck at age 17. He had five years of skydiving experience and logged more than 125 jumps, according to the Flathead Sheriff's Office. Fogle was participating in the Lost Prairie Skydiving Boogie with a large group of skydivers.

After interviewing witnesses and viewing photographs of Fogle's jump, investigators determined he rolled onto his back in the air and was unable to right himself or activate his parachute, White said. Fogle's equipment was in working order and had passed required safety inspections.

The U.S. Parachute Association and the Federal Aviation Administration took part in the investigation.

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