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2 injured in skydiving accident in Bucks County

By 69 News, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 08 2014 11:03:34 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 09 2014 04:51:57 AM CDT

Two injured in skydiving accident in Bucks County

PERKASIE, Pa. -

Two men are recovering in area hospitals after a frightening skydiving accident in Bucks County.

According to officials, two men were tandem diving with Skydive Philadelphia in Perkasie when their parachute malfunctioned Tuesday.

The pair came crashing down near Guth Elementary School around 11 a.m., about a half mile from their intended landing zone at Pennridge Airport.

Summer school was in session, but school officials said all of the students were inside at the time of the accident.

A school groundskeeper was outside mowing the lawn at the time of the fall.

"They dropped. I mean they really dropped to the ground about 30 to 40 feet in front of him," said Pricilla Ponist, principal at Guth Elementary School.

When Ponist went outside, she said two men were on the ground and appeared to have suffered serious injuries.

"One had a bone protruding from his leg, the other was having a hard time moving," Ponist said.

According to police, first-time diver Obataiye Samuel, 37, of Philadelphia, was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital.

Samuel, of Philadelphia, is currently listed in stable condition.

The instructor, 41-year-old Robert Mandic of Hilltown Township, was flown to Temple University Hospital where he is still being evaluated and treated, according to hospital officials.

Mandic's parents said he was scheduled for surgery Tuesday afternoon after suffering a dislocated hip and two severe ankle injuries.

Mandic, a Hilltown Township native, started skydiving nearly 10 years ago while he was still an officer with the Cheltenham SWAT Team.

"Once he got hooked on it, he went for it," said Stephen Mandic, Robert's dad.

About seven years ago, he became an instructor.

Mandic's parents said he's made more than 5,000 jumps and has attended numerous classes.

They credit his experience for their survival Tuesday.

"He survived because he knew what he was supposed to do and he did it," Stephen Mandic said.

Both parents said they're confident Robert will continue skydiving once he recovers.

"I think he's going to get right back on the horse again and do what he has to do," said Kathryn Mandic.

The Federal Aviation Administration is still investigating.