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Skydiving Accident Claims Life of DukeStudent

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RAEFORD, N.C. — A Duke Universitygraduate student making her first parachute jump died when she missed thedrop zone and crashed into a tractor-trailer on a nearby highway,authorities said.

Alison Jean Yount, 27, overshot a field where she was supposedto land Tuesday afternoon and struck the truck, said Trooper EricPender.

She was thrown 23 feet into a ditch, Pender said, and wasdeclared dead 90 minutes later at Womack Army Medical Center.

Yount took a seven-hour course before deciding to take a solojump at Raeford Skydiving Service at the Raeford Airport, according toinstructor John Tippy. She could have opted for a tandem jump, with aninstructor diving with her.

As she descended, she didn't react properly to two instructorswho had jumped with her, said Tippy, who was one of theinstructors.

Tippy didn't know what went wrong. ``It's really hard to say.Some people pay attention and some don't. It's a real hard call. Itlooked like she was trying to land beside the road.''

Yount was unable to control her parachute after it opened, Tippy said.

Pender said Yount lived with her husband in Durham.

The accident is the second fatality this year linked to askydiving company at the airport. On April 27, a 14-year-old girlwas killed when she stepped off an airplane and walked into thepropeller. That plane was owned by Freefall Express, a skydivingcompany.

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