When you imagine someone being harmed in a skydiving accident, you probably envision something going wrong while a diver is in the air. Ohio woman Sarah Rhoads' fatal accident, however, happened while the plane was idling on the ground.
Rhoads was the office manager at Start Skydiving in Middletown, Ohio. On Sunday, she walked out to a grounded airplane, as she always did, and asked the pilot if he wanted any food. Rhoads did not realize that the plane’s engines were idling at the time and the propellers were still spinning. She walked right into one of the propellers and suffered head injuries that proved to be fatal.
John Hart, the owner of Start Skydiving, called the incident “absolutely horrible” and said it was the “worst nightmare of my life.
“It’s hard,” he said, adding that Rhoads was like a daughter to him.
"Sarah was a vibrant, beautiful young woman," Hart added."She was the base of Start Skydiving. She was the first person clients met on the way in and the last person they saw on the way out. The light will be a little dimmer in our office."
Per protocol, the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate Rhoads' death. Hart pointed out that the accident was not skydiving-related and that Start Skydiving has an “impeccable” safety record.
Gene Newsome, a manager at the business, described Rhoads as someone who worked “100 miles an hour.”
“She was awesome,” he said.