Positive response to hang gliding fatality

June 24, 2008

In what is a very positive response to the tragic death of Richard Seymour at the weekend hang gliders resumed flying on Sunday at the El Cariso Regional County Park after the Glendale man had crashed while landing on Saturday.Richard Seymour, 56, died at the scene at about 2:55 p.m. on Saturday after his craft’s right wing touched the ground, sending it tumbling onto the 20-acre field owned by the Sylmar Hang Gliding Association. “People who knew Richard and knew his spirit are confident that he would want everybody to continue to fly in his honor,” Joe Greblo, director of the Sylmar-based  association, said Sunday. “Today we’re out here trying to make the best of a bad situation.” Known for his sharp sense of humor and fun-loving disposition, Seymour had at least 15 years’ experience hang gliding with the club, Greblo said.

Most hang gliders at the park on Saturday were preparing to fly or were already in the sky when the crash occurred near the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, Greblo said. He was among five others on the landing field who witnessed the incident.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has ruled the tragedy an accident, and said Seymour was trying to land near power lines. Greblo said deaths from hang gliding are rare and that enthusiasts are trained to deal with dangers involved in the sport.

Nationwide, six hang-gliding fatalities were reported in 2006, three more than in 2005, according to the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association Inc.  By definition hang gliding is a dangerous sport, it is extreme but however careful you are accidents will happen. It is a tragedy that Richard is no longer able to join his friends at Sylmar but we congratulate the association for their positive response to the tragedy – flying in his honour and remembering the good times.


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