WWII demonstrator dies from mid-air heart attack while skydiving in Oklahoma

69-year-old Army Special Forces veteran was attempting to jump from 1,500 feet.
By Matt Bradwell  |  July 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM
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FREDERICK, Okla., July 24 (UPI) -- A member of the World War II Airborne Demonstration team died in Oklahoma Tuesday, after suffering from a heart attack mid-jump.

Jim Yost, a 69-year-old funeral director from Champaign, Ill., was participating in a 1,500-foot jump as part of a semi-annual skydiving school at the time of the incident.

According to witnesses, Yost's main parachute malfunctioned and his body went limp after he deployed his reserve chute. Yost then descended into a cornfield where paramedics were unable to revive him from injuries sustained upon impact and the heart attack.

"CPT [Jim] Yost apparently suffered a heart attack while engaged in jump operations at Frederick Army Air Field in Frederick on July 22," confirmed ADT public affairs officer Sharon Bennett in a formal statement. "Notwithstanding the best efforts of medically trained personnel at the drop zone, they were unable to revive Jim upon his landing."

"It is with sincere condolences and heart felt loss that the WW II Airborne Demonstration Team (ADT) acknowledges the loss of friend and team member Captain (Retired) James D. Yost on July 22. CPT Yost completed his ADT training and joined the team in January 2014. Given his prior service with the U.S. Army Special Forces, Jim was considered a true asset to the team. CPT Yost was an experienced parachutist, with 36 jumps while on active duty and approximately 10 jumps with the ADT."

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