Peterborough skydive death: Wine merchant died after collision

Patrick Sandeman skydiving Patrick Sandeman was described as a very experienced skydiver

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A leading London wine merchant died skydiving in Cambridgeshire when two parachutes became entangled.

Patrick Sandeman was killed approaching the landing zone at Sibson Aerodrome, near Peterborough, last September.

Fellow skydiver Matt Le Berre and Mr Sandeman collided in mid-air, an inquest in Huntingdon was told.

Deputy coroner Belinda Cheney recorded a verdict of accidental death and said it was "more likely than not" that Mr Sandeman collided with Mr Le Berre.

As paramedics fought to save Mr Sandeman's life after he hit the ground, Mr Le Berre was heard to shout "I've killed him".

Jump-master Michael Wilson-Roberts rushed to help both men within seconds of them hitting the ground.

He said: "Matt was shouting 'It's my fault, my friend, my friend, I've killed him'. He was also muttering in French.

"He was in a bad way and may not have been aware what he was saying but I can't deny what I heard."

Mr Sandeman, of Montolieu Gardens, Putney, south-west London, was pronounced dead at the scene having suffered injuries to his head, ribs and pelvis.

Swooping manoeuvre

The 53-year-old, who had completed 677 previous jumps, was a partner in Lea & Sandeman, the fine wine merchants.

On 22 September, Mr Le Berre and Mr Sandeman had jumped from the same plane.

Their jumps were staggered for safety reasons and both left the plane at about 14,000ft (4,300m), reaching speeds of up to 200mph (322kph) in freefall.

Mr Le Berre, who had completed 488 jumps, told the inquest he was slowing after performing an advanced "swooping" manoeuvre when he saw Mr Sandeman below him.

Mr Le Berre, 28, originally from France but now living in London, said he remembered pulling on his brakes but could not prevent his knees hitting Mr Sandeman's canopy and tangling their parachute lines.

Mr Wilson-Roberts told the inquest: "When I arrived at the accident scene, Pat was laying there completely silent and Matt on his side facing him.

"It was quickly established that Pat wasn't alive."

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