Watch CBS News

Golden Knights Parachutist Dies Day After Accident At Air & Water Show

Updated 08/17/15 - 7:33 a.m.

(CBS) -- A parachutist for the U.S. Army Golden Knights team died Sunday afternoon after a mid-air collision this weekend at the Chicago Air & Water Show.

A spokeswoman for the Army Golden Knights identified the parachutist as 32-year-old Sergeant First Class Corey Hood of Cincinnati, Ohio. According to his biography, Hood has been in the Army for 14 years and has been awarded two Bronze Stars and two Meritorious Service Medals. He began jumping in 2010 and has recorded more than 500 freefall jumps.

During Saturday's airshow, Hood collided with a member of the U.S. Navy's Leap Frog Team, who was also injured.

Hood landed in the Gold Coast near Schiller and Lake Shore Drive and witnesses said his body was limp and that he clipped a building. He was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery to relieve pressure on the brain. The medical examiner says Hood died at 4:05 p.m. Sunday.

The throng of spectators shocked by Saturday's accident will never forget the way Hood died.

For Gold Coast resident Adam Weiner, this weekend's Chicago Air & Water Show was his first.

"It was supposed to be an amazing experience," he said.

As Weiner watched from the roof of his Gold Coast high rise on Saturday, and the dive that included Hood, he could tell something was wrong.

"We thought it might be part of the show, where he was going to be landing on the roof, and when he got closer and closer, we realized the body wasn't moving. It was like a dummy," he said. "I couldn't believe that such an accident could happen, but accidents do happen, and it was just so tragic."

Weiner recorded cell phone video of Hood floating toward the ground, before slamming into a high rise next door.

"They did the formation, and during breakoff, there was a collision with one of the team members and a Navy Leap Frog. The team member was knocked unconscious, and was carried off into a building," Golden Knights spokeswoman Donna Dixon said.

Corey Hood Golden Knights
Sergeant First Class Cory Hood. (Credit: U.S. Army)

Hood served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, enlisting at age 17 right after graduating high school. He is survived by his wife, Lyndsay.

"Our focus right now is on supporting Corey's family and grieving for our teammate," Lt. Col. Matthew Weinrich, commander, USAPT said in a statement. "As Soldiers, there are risks every day in what we do, but you do everything you can to minimize those risks and it is extremely hard when that is not enough. The Knights are a very close knit team and the military skydiving community is equally close; we will support Corey's family and each other during this difficult time."

The Navy parachutist landed on North Avenue Beach. He was hospitalized in fair condition Sunday night, with a lower leg fracture, and was expected to fully recover. A Navy spokesperson would not name the 29-year-old parachutist, who is stationed in Coronado, Calif., near San Diego.

The Army Golden Knights and Navy Leap Frog teams did not perform Sunday for the second day of the Air & Water Show.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.