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Skydiver who died following parachute failure was Army soldier

By Leila Fujimori

LAST UPDATED: 07:22 p.m. HST, Jul 26, 2013

The 30-year-old skydiver, who died after suffering critical injuries Tuesday during a skydiving accident near Dillingham Airfield, survived three deployments to Afghanistan, was an Army airborne school graduate and an elite Army Ranger.

Martin Monahan, who was from Stuart, Fla,, was a captain stationed at Schofield Barracks with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, where he served as a transportation officer, an Army spokesman said.

He was first stationed at Schofield in 2010, and had served three combat tours to Afghanistan.

The Federal Aviation Administration has reviewed a video showing that the skydiver struck the aircraft’s horizontal stabilizer, or tailplane, while exiting the plane, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said in an e-mail.

Emergency Medical Services officials reported the incident at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday, and said the hard landing occurred in a field about 300 yards away from the airfield.

He was taken to the hospital, where he died Wednesday.

Monahan jumped out of a Skydive Hawaii airplane. A company representative could not be reached for comment.

Monahan had been trained as an airborne soldier and “jumped out of planes,” Army spokesman Capt. Evan Scritchfield said.

Scritchfield said being an airborne soldier is “not like jumping out of a plane in the civilian world.”

“It is regimented and there are certain things that happen in the military that don’t necessarily happen in the civilian world,” he said.

Monahan was also qualfiied as a U.S. Army Ranger, an elite Army organization, Scritchfield said.

Monahan graduated from the Citadel in 2005, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.

His brother, Matthew, in Florida, told the Star-Advertiser their parents are in Hawaii, but declined to comment Friday.

He is also survived by a child, but no further details are known, Scritchfield said.

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Surfer_Dude wrote:
Autopsy. Seriously! Cause of death, and I'm not a doctor but I'll take a guess......blunt force trauma.
on July 26,2013 | 08:20AM
tiki886 wrote:
In a previous article, it said he didn't deploy his main chute which suggests he may have been unconscious. The autopsy will reveal if it was drugs or a heart attack or some other medical reason he did not deploy his main chute.

We also are not told why the reserve chute did not automatically fully deploy either.

on July 26,2013 | 09:05AM
mikethenovice wrote:
The Army says only two things fall from the sky. Bird dropping and fools.
on July 26,2013 | 01:11PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
mike, the Army has two airborne(airmobile) divisions and special forces/Rangers that train to fall from the sky.
on July 26,2013 | 02:52PM
grantos wrote:
Shortsighted comment. An autopsy may help determine why the parachutist lost consciousness.
on July 26,2013 | 09:06AM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
Accurate comment. This article said the ME will determine cause of death. Whether he was conscious or not, the ultimate cause of death was the fact he crashed into the ground at 120 miles per hour.
on July 26,2013 | 09:55AM
Anonymous wrote:
Inaccurate comment. There IS a possibility that he could have died from a medical condition before he hit the ground at 120 mph.
on July 26,2013 | 10:12AM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
You are a decent commenter anonymous, so I won't get into a pi**ing match with you. I say equipment malfunction or suicide caused him to crash into the ground........whether or not he was conscious, the ground still killed him. You say that in the twelve seconds he jumped from the plane until he impacted the ground, he might have died from a medical condition. Fair enough, we'll wait for the autopsy.
on July 26,2013 | 10:28AM
Anonymous wrote:
your comments are often foolish
on July 26,2013 | 08:52PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
Oh. You're the intelligent one, right?
on July 26,2013 | 09:40PM
grantos wrote:
shortsighted, yes. accurate, perhaps. they are not mutually exclusive.
on July 26,2013 | 03:29PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Maybe he lost consciousness or had a big heart attack when he realized that he was going to hit the ground and die.
on July 26,2013 | 01:00PM
mikethenovice wrote:
How can they ID a man that splattered flat like an egg?
on July 26,2013 | 01:10PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
mike, he signed forms and waivers with a vendor to fall from the sky. If he worked there, then they know who he was.
on July 26,2013 | 02:54PM
2NDC wrote:
The Army maintains DNA samples of soldiers for identification purposes.
on July 26,2013 | 11:03PM
allie wrote:
on July 26,2013 | 08:23AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Gravity rules!
on July 26,2013 | 01:12PM
Bully wrote:
Many high risk sports end in death.
on July 26,2013 | 08:46AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Np second chances?
on July 26,2013 | 01:11PM
tiki886 wrote:
It appears the automatic activation device to deploy the reserve chute wasn't quick enough or the chute got tangled. The AAD is suppose to deploy at a preset altitude if the descent rate exceeds a preset activation speed.
on July 26,2013 | 08:56AM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
Tiki, the ADD might not have been even turned on. If your jumping a square, you have to cut away your malfunctioned main before you manually deploy your reserve. I know a lot of jumpers who don't even bother to activate their ADD because of premature reserve deployments that tangle up the main.
on July 26,2013 | 10:03AM
tiki886 wrote:
The previous article indicated his main chute did not deploy. It appears that his reserve did deploy but not fully, otherwise he would have died on impact.
on July 26,2013 | 10:12AM
ryan02 wrote:
Around 10 years ago there was a tragic tandem skydiving accident where that happened -- the reserve chute got tangled with the main chute.
on July 26,2013 | 10:17AM
mikethenovice wrote:
He didn't feel anything.
on July 26,2013 | 01:09PM
hanaboy wrote:
According to KHON news last night, he hit his head on the tail wing of the plane and was knocked unconcious, therefore, unable to deploy both chutes. Nonetheless, my condolence to his loved ones.
on July 26,2013 | 01:23PM
lynnh wrote:
Get it right SA. He when out the door, hit the rear stabilizer, was knocked out and the auto deploy system openned the canopy. He drifted to Earth, they think, out cold the whole descent. There was "no" parachute failure. Tired of SA's wrong reporting.
on July 26,2013 | 05:42PM
First-Responder wrote:
This is very sad and this seasoned solider deserves our respect and admiration. Accidents happen. Rest in peace solider and god with God.
on July 26,2013 | 08:51PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
This updated version supports my first comment. He died of blunt force trauma aka he hit the ground very hard. If this article is accurate, he was still alive when they took him to the hospital where he died of his injuries. I only questioned the rational from the original article which said the medical examiner will take a week to determine cause of death.
on July 26,2013 | 09:39PM
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