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Army parachutist dies after Chicago Air and Water Show midair collision

By Andrew V. Pestano

CHICAGO, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A member of a U.S. Army parachute team died Sunday resulting from injuries suffered after a midair collision during the Chicago Air and Water Show.

Sgt. 1st Class Corey Hood, 32, from Cincinnati, Ohio, died after he collided midair on Saturday with a Navy Leap Frogs member, whose identity has not been released.

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The military parachutists were attempting to perform a "bomb burst" group maneuver, where 13 skydivers hold hands in a circle for about 15 seconds during descent. After the collision, Hood's emergency chute opened and he struck a building in a downtown Chicago street before falling several stories.

Hood was a member of the Army Golden Knights.

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"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," Col. Matthew Weinrich, commander of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, said in a statement.

The Navy parachutist received a lower leg fracture. Spectators were shocked to witness the unusual collision.

"I only saw him fall for a second or two," witness Clayton Myers said. "He may have fallen about 20 feet... At first, I was confused and thought he was just landing there, but then I realized he was falling too fast."

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Hood served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, earing himself multiple awards including two Bronce Stars. He is survived by his wife Lyndsay.

"Our thoughts are with his family, friends and the entire Golden Knights community," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement late Sunday, adding that was Hood "an American hero."

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