One man from the San Diego area and one from Orange County were both killed in a paragliding crash Saturday afternoon at the Gilderport in Torrey Pines near San Diego.
Glenn Johnny Peter Bengtsson, 43, of Carlsbad and Raul Gonzalez Valerio, 61, of Laguna Hills were killed when their gliders collided in mid-air around 2:40 p.m. Saturday, the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office said.
According to police, the gliders became entwined and both fell around 75 feet onto the bluffs above Black’s Beach.
Bengtsson was an experienced pilot and Valerio was getting an advanced certification, he said.
“Apparently what happened was the student individual was heading southbound and made a turn, a hard right turn right in this area where the flag is and ended up running into the other flyer that was in the northbound direction,” Lt. Rich Stropsky stated.
The two men were pronounced dead at the scene.
The recovery effort was especially challenging because of the terrain. Rescuers had to lower a first responder down to the victims via helicopter.
The victims were at the bluff’s edge, caught on a knoll right at the edge of a vertical section of the cliff, he said.
Rescuers then pulled the bodies up by hand and carried the bodies off the cliff.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office will lead the investigation and determine the cause of death, Stropsky said.
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