A female skydiver has died after her parachute malfunctioned and failed to open, police said.
Karen Bernard, from Florida, was killed when she jumped out of a plane to skydive in the Westford area in New York on Saturday at around 9am.
State police confirmed the 59-year-old’s death in a news release.
It reads: “On July 24, 2021 shortly after 9:00 a.m. New York State Police responded to a report of a fatal skydiving incident in the area of County Highway 34 in the town of Westford.
“A preliminary investigation revealed that a Karen Bernard, age 59 of Wildwood, FL jumped out of a plane to skydive when it appears she had a malfunction with her parachute.
“The investigation continues.”
Karen’s grieving brother also confirmed she had died with an announcement on Facebook.
He wrote: “It is with a sad heart that I need to notify you, her family and friends that Karen passed away Saturday July 24th in a skydiving related accident.
“She was doing the things she loved to do. At this time there are no services planned.
“Please refrain from asking any questions at this time because we don’t have any answers and we’re not monitoring her page. We’re all pretty numb and in disbelief. Thank you for your understanding.”
Heartbroken friends of Karen shared tributes on social media.
One wrote: “It is with great sadness I tell you that Karen Bernard passed away yesterday.
“Karen was an infectious person. Her personality was bigger than life.
“She was an artist in all areas of crafting. Karen was passionate about many things, one of which was our community, and always tried to help make it a better community. R.I.P. angel.”
Another posted: “Rest in Peace, Aunt Karen Knapp Marr Bernard, we will always miss your addictive personality. The girls will miss their favorite aunt.”
A third friend posted: “Karen I have no words for the loss I feel. You were always there for me when I needed help and information for my Grandson. If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have known what road to go down . You will always have a huge piece of my heart.
“You better save one hell of a BIG bench up there cause there are lots and lots of people who wants you to save them a seat next to you. Me Included , Rest in piece my friend you will be missed by so many people.”