Skydiver who died was in 'Honeymoon in Vegas'

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on October 11, 2011 at 2:07 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 11 at 2:07 AM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — It was supposed to be a special gift to a grandmother — a skydiving adventure with a veteran instructor who was one of the Elvis Presley impersonators jumping from an airplane in the movie "Honeymoon in Vegas."

Instead it was a tragedy near the Nevada-Arizona border as two parachutes failed to open properly during the tandem jump, sending 75-year-old Claudette Porter of North Las Vegas and instructor James Fonnesbeck to their deaths.

Porter's husband Jim Porter says his wife had talked about skydiving at least 20 years. Their granddaughter arranged for her to go skydiving for her birthday.

Fonnesbeck had been diving more than 40 years, with nearly 11,000 jumps.

Mesquite police say the jumpers' primary parachute didn't fully deploy, and a backup chute became entangled in the main chute when it was deployed.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

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