RIPREDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Family and friends are mourning the loss of a Redmond man fatally injured Sunday morning when he fell nearly 30 feet while practicing land kiteboarding on the parking lot of the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond. And a witness to the crash described the sequence of events, saying they did what they could in its aftermath.
Redmond police and fire medics responded around 11 a.m. to reports of someone severely injured after falling from a height of nearly 30 feet and striking his head on the parking lot at the fairgrounds.
Witnesses at the scene quickly began life-saving efforts, until first responders arrived, according to Redmond Police Lt. Curtis Chambers said.
The victim, later identified as Zackary Hannan, 31, was taken by Redmond fire medics to St. Charles Bend, where he underwent several hours of surgery but passed away at 5 p.m., his family by his side, the lieutenant said. NewsChannel 21 spoke with a witness, Deamion Culbertson, on Monday to hear his account of what happened.
"As I was running toward him, another wind gust had picked up and took him and slung him across the parking lot, about 45 yards," Culbertson said.
He said Hannan already was unconscious when the second gust of wind carried his body head-first into a curb. "You can see that his body was not fighting any of it," Culberston said.
Culbertson said he and another witness were able to detach the five-point harness holding the kite onto Hannan's body. Witnesses began life-saving efforts, but he died later at the hospital.
“Hannan was an experienced outdoor adventurist and recently took to this new activity with interest and enthusiasm,” Chambers said in a news release, adding that Hannan had been land kiteboarding for nearly a year.
Chambers said people engaging in any sort of outdoor activity should research best practices and guidelines for their activity. "It’s never good to do any sort of outdoor event or activity alone, whenever possible," Chambers said. "Always know your limits, and the limits of your equipment." While preparing for Sunday’s activity, Hannan strapped himself into the kite and was in the final stages of preparation when an unexpected gust of wind grabbed the kite, pulling him about 30 feet into the air, Chambers said. Hannan had not yet secured his helmet to his head before the kite pulled him into the air. He then fell to the ground, striking his head on the asphalt, Chambers said.
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