March 24, 2023

Who is Maria Robledo Vallejo? Skydiver killed in Highway 99; Bio, Wiki, Age, Family, Cause of Death

Maria Robledo Vallejo Bio, Wiki

Maria Robledo Vallejo is a 28-year-old skydiver who was killed when she was blown off course into a Northern California highway was an experienced jumper, according to a report. She died on Thursday, September 26th, 2019.

Maria Robledo Vallejo Dies While Skydiving

Maria Robledo Vallejo was parachuting with a group Lodi Skydive Parachute Center on Thursday, September 26th when she was blown away from the safe landing zone. The skydiver ended up by traffic on Highway 99 and hit a semi-truck before ultimately crashing into the shoulder of the roadway, officials said. The crash occurred in the southbound lanes near Jahant Road at 2 p.m. Vallejo died at the scene.

Lodi Parachute Center owner Bill Dause said that Vallejo was a veteran skydiver who jumped numerous times in the past two weeks. “She arrived about two weeks ago,” Dause told news station Fox40. “She made 20 some jumps since she arrived.”

In speaking with news station CBS13, parachute center owner Bill Dause said Vallejo was an experienced skydiver with more than 150 jumps.

“Was it too windy? No, not for somebody with her experience level,” said Dause. “The parachute was fine. There was nothing wrong with the parachute.”

Dause also told the news station that her indiscretion was a factor that led to the crash. “We’ve jumped in winds much higher than that,” he said. “For whatever reason, she went too far downwind.”

Rick Costa, who regularly drives a truckload of cars down the stretch of highway for work, told KCRA he has long thought the skydiving company’s setup was dangerous.

“The way they do it, they actually fly over the freeway and come back to grass when they land,” he told the TV station. “Unless they change something, it’s only a matter of time before more and more of that happens and more people die.”

It was unclear what caused the skydiver to drift onto the highway, but an onlooker who witnessed the immediate aftermath said winds near the airport and the skydive center were clocked at about 17 mph, enough to ground light planes at the airstrip, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Maria Robledo Vallejo Witness Account

Another witness said that a gust of air seized control of the 28-year-old woman’s parachute just after she jumped out of a plane with six other skydivers. She struggled as the wind carried her away from the center’s safe landing zone, careening toward the flow of traffic on Highway 99 in Acampo until she slammed into the big rig, the Washington Post reported.

“The way the person was struggling, just struggling against the wind and their body was just moving really, really fast,” Lisa Reyes, whose father and brother watched the collision happen in front of them on the freeway, told KCRA. “They’re really traumatized by what they saw right now.”

Rich Edwards was driving on a frontage road about 2:15 p.m. as the incident unfolded and told The Bee the big rig had been headed southbound on Highway 99. “I drove by and saw the truck pulling over. There was a body lying on the (pavement),” Edwards told The Bee. “I saw a chute on the road and a bunch of people.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident, officials said.

The Parachute Center have Previous Similar Incidents

In January 2018, following a number of other fatalities associated with the facility, federal agents with the FBI, Department of Transportation and FAA along with local law enforcement raided the Parachute Center, searching lockers and seizing two years’ worth of records, according to Record archives.

The Record previously reported that the parachute center, opened in 1964, has been scrutinized before by authorities following the deaths of skydivers — at least 15 between 1999 and 2017.