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Central Point man identified in skydiving fatality

WHITE CITY — Jackson County sheriff's deputies today identified a 74-year-old Central Point man who died Sunday in a parachuting accident in the Sams Valley area.

Skydiver Jackson Jerome Kern, of the 900 block of Pumice Lane, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 12:17 p.m. crash-landing in the 16800 block of Antioch Road, deputies said today.

Kern, who friends said was an experienced jumper, was skydiving with a group that took off from the Beagle Sky Ranch Airport, a small private strip off Jones Road near the crash site, according to sheriff's deputies. The pilot told investigators that the group jumped from the plane at about 12,000 feet above the ground, deputies said.

Kern apparently was able to deploy his parachute, but a preliminary investigation suggests a malfunction in the chute's toggle prevented Kern from being able to control and slow his descent, deputies said.

The Federal Aviation Administration will conduct any further investigation, deputies said.