BAYOU VISTA — A 57-year-old Bayou Vista man was rushed to the hospital following an accident involving his ground-bound paraglider.
The man’s name was withheld pending family notification.
The accident occurred about 5:20 p.m. Saturday in the 1100 block of Sailfish. The man was an experienced paraglider pilot and was doing some tune-up work on the craft Bayou Vista police Capt. Lynn McLaren said.
”He has parasailed before and the indications are that he was doing some maintenance work on it and test-driving it” he said.
Police do not believe the man had any plans to go airborne.
”As far as we know there was no indication that he was actually going to fly it” McLaren said.
Brian Allen was at his house on Redfish. Looking across the canal that separates his street from Sailfish he could see the moments just before the accident.
”He started up the paraglider and it looked like he was just trying to run it like you would a golf cart” Allen said. ”The front tire must have hit something and the rear end started to go up in the air. That was the last I saw of it (because) it went behind the houses.”
According to McLaren the paraglider hit a mailbox a tree and a utility box. After that there was a collision with a car in a driveway and the paraglider finally came to a stop against another mailbox.
McLaren said the victim was found partially underneath the parked car and had probably been ejected from the paraglider.
”We believe that he left the seat at some point and we believe that he slammed into the car himself. There is some indication that some part of the paraglider hit the car too but we think that he took the full force to the car too” McLaren said.
The captain was one of the first people on the scene.
”I started CPR when I got here until the paramedics showed up and they continued CPR and transported him shortly afterward.”
The victim suffered extensive head and internal injuries and was transported to a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital McLaren said.
The Federal Aviation Administration also was called in to investigate the accident.