UPDATED 10:20 a.m. | A skydiver suffered traumatic injuries Friday night after a parachute accident during the Normal CornBelters home opener, authorities said.
The incident happened around 7:10 p.m. First responders found the skydiver and his parachute in a parking lot near Traders Circle, east of the Corn Crib, police said. The skydiver had apparently gone off-course and landed in the parking lot near the College Station Apartments, police said.
The skydiver was injured and taken by Normal Fire Department to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, police said. The extent of his injuries were not known. NFD responded to a report of a "patient with traumatic injuries from a fall," said NFD spokesperson Matt Swaney.
Terry Ballantini of Bloomington and his wife were at Steak n Shake, near where the skydiver came down. They saw the skydiver falling fast, and his parachute was not fully deployed and "looked like a sheet," Ballantini said.
"He hit hard. He hit really hard," Ballantini said.
First responders arrived within minutes, he said.
The parachute looked like an American flag design, Ballantini said. Friday at the Corn Crib was Salute to Armed Forces Night, recognizing military families and service members.
"It was pretty devastating to watch this happen," Ballantini said. "We hope and pray he's OK."
The incident remains under investigation, Swaney said.
Messages left with CornBelters President Steve Malliet were not returned.
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