Investigators are examining the equipment of man who fell to his death while paragliding in the Lime Ridge Open Space in Walnut Creek Sunday. The victim, identified Monday as Edward J. Simone, 53, of Walnut Creek, died after rescuers rushed him to John Muir Hospital after the fall.
Efforts by this news service to reach the Walnut Creek offices bearing the name of the victim were unsuccessful as a person answering the phone there declined to discuss our information.
Other paragliders were with Simone and witnessed him fall, according to a release issued by police Lt. Lanny Edwards. One said it appeared that his “sail,” or steerable parachute, may have collapsed prior to the accident. A California Highway Patrol helicopter landed in the area to transport the victim after the crash was reported at 5:53 p.m.
The crash occurred just behind Boundary Oak Golf Course at 3800 Valley Vista Road in Walnut Creek, an area popular with powered flight enthusiasts. Paragliders use a steerable sail and a powered fan to stay aloft during rides that can last for hours. Authorities were not able to remember any prior, fatal crashes at Lime Ridge.
Toxicological tests are being conducted, according to a spokesman for the Contra Costa County Coroner’s office, and could take 12 to 16 weeks to complete. There was no immediate word as to a precise cause of the crash.