Monday, September 03, 2001

Skydiver returns after accident

The Associated Press

        RICHMOND, Ind. — An Ohio man whose left leg was shattered in a horrific 1997 skydiving accident is savoring his return to the daredevil sport.

        Tod DiMauro, 32, resumed skydiving in April after 25 surgeries to save his leg, but on Saturday he jumped from the same DC-3 he made his near-fatal jump from during Labor Day weekend 1997.

        After Saturday's first jump — a seven-way with friends above the Richmond Airport — the Cleveland resident made three more plunges. He planned to make at least 10 more jumps by Monday.

        “Don't wait to do things you want to do,”Mr. DiMauro told the Palladium-Item.

        Despite his upbeat attitude, several people who saw the aftermath of his 1997 accident said they were surprised Mr. DiMauro returned to skydiving.

        Mr. DiMauro and his mother, Debbie Kelly, also of Cleveland, were skydiving together above the Richmond Airport during the “Richmond Boogie” when she made a flat turn into the wind as she approached the ground.

        Mr. DiMauro, who was on his 54th career jump, tried the same move, but it failed, and he was driven violently into the ground.


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