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Friday, January 3, 2003



Funeral set for woman
killed while sky diving

A service in Nebraska today
will remember Maggie Thomas, 18


Associated Press

PAPILLION, Neb. >> A funeral service was scheduled for an 18-year-old woman who died along with her sky diving instructor when their parachutes failed to deploy properly during a tandem jump last month on the North Shore.

Maggie Thomas and Drop Zone instructor Greg Hunter, 44, died Dec. 22 when they fell 9,000 feet into the back yard of a Mokuleia home.

She had received a gift certificate to go tandem sky diving as a Christmas present from her family, police in Hawaii said.

A service was planned today at Trinity Lutheran Church in Papillion for Thomas, who was in Hawaii visiting a brother.

Thomas was a unit secretary at Bergan Mercy Medical Center and a full-time nursing student at the College of St. Mary in Omaha.

She is survived by her 18-month-old son, Kaden Mumford; mother, Marilyn Thomas, of Blair; father, Doug Thomas Sr., of Corpus Christi, Texas; and six brothers and sisters.

Dozens of people gathered Sunday at Dillingham Airfield to honor Hunter. Two planes took off, and divers formed a human lei thousands of feet above the ground. Flowers and the ashes of the fallen diver rained to the earth.

"We know that they sit on the clouds in heaven and they flew through the pearly gates," said Ken Anderson, the owner of Drop Zone. "And they had the softest landing anybody has ever seen."

Officials said Hunter's parachute opened prematurely and a backup became tangled after the 9,000-foot jump.

Drop Zone, in operation since 1997, has since reopened. Findings of a Federal Aviation Administration investigation have not yet been released.


The Federal Aviation Administration



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