Fort Bragg soldier killed in 'freak accident' while skydiving, police say

By RENEE SPENCER | Star-News | Published: April 23, 2019

WILMINGTON, N.C. A Fort Bragg-based soldier died in a skydiving accident Sunday, police said.

Sgt. 1st Class Justin Goff, a 29-year-old from Florida, was killed at the Cape Fear Regional Airport in Oak Island, N.C., Sgt. Loyd Hames of the Oak Island Police Department told WECT News. Oak Island Assistant Police Chief Chris Franks said that officers got the call about the accident about 10:45 a.m.

"An individual was skydiving, and he came in a little too fast, and he hit the ground," Franks said.

Goff was an experienced skydiver with a Class D skydiving licence, Franks said. According to the United States Parachute Association, those qualifying for Class D skydiving licenses have completed at least 500 jumps.

Franks said they believe that wind was a factor.

Airport director Howie Franklin was not there when the incident occurred, but he has spoken with staff who witnessed it. Franklin said he was told Goff made a turn in the air at about 150 feet, and when he did, the chute collapsed and couldn't get enough wind to reopen.

Franklin called it "a freak accident."

An autopsy will be performed to determine an official cause of death, according to WECT.

Goff, who had a wife and three children, was a coach for Omega Gymnastics, according to the facility's Facebook page.

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