NPR from Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Local News

Skydiver In Critical Condition After Accident In Normal

Ryan Denham
A parachute at the scene of the May 11 incident in Normal.

A skydiver who was badly injured earlier this month during a failed landing at a Normal CornBelters game remains in critical condition at a Peoria hospital.

Brian White suffered serious injuries in the incident May 11. Instead of arriving as scheduled at the Corn Crib during the baseball team’s home opener, White landed in a parking lot east of the stadium near Traders Circle. Bystanders that were part of White’s skydive team told first responders he jumped from a plane at 3,500 feet and that “both of his parachutes had failed to control his descent and he fell to the ground,” according to Normal Fire Department reports.

Terry Ballantini of Bloomington and his wife were at the nearby Steak n Shake when White landed. They saw him falling fast, and his parachute was not fully deployed and "looked like a sheet," Ballantini said.

"He hit hard. He hit really hard," Ballantini told GLT previously.

White was initially taken to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal and later moved to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. White was listed in critical condition on Wednesday, a hospital spokesperson said.

White is part of the Illinois Valley Parachute Club, based in Minier. A club representative declined to comment.

Club members serving as White’s ground crew were there May 11 when the incident took place, police reports show. First responders were called after several people called 911 saying someone had “fallen from a truck or possibly from the sky,” police reports show. Police later found part of White’s parachute at the nearby Northmeadow Village mobile home park.

The FAA is investigating the incident. That will take 60 to 90 days to complete.

The FAA’s areas of responsibility cover the packing of the chute, the reserve chute, and the rules of flight for the aircraft, said FAA spokesperson Elizabeth Isham Cory.

CornBelters President Steve Malliet did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Bloomington-Normal. To support more stories and interviews like this one, please consider making a contribution.

Related Content