Family mourns Los Banos teen killed in skydiving accident

Monday, August 8, 2016
Family mourns loss of Los Banos teen killed in skydiving accident
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Before Tyler Turner, 18, boarded the plane for his first sky dive, he hugged his mom and said, "I love you, mom."

LOS BANOS, Calif. -- The skydiving accident in Lodi Saturday has devastated friends and family in Los Banos.

One of the men killed, 18-year-old Tyler Turner, just graduated from Pacheco High School two months ago.

Tyler was killed in a skydiving accident and his mom Francine Turner said it was his first jump and he was doing it in tandem with an instructor.

Turner's cap and gown are still hanging near the front door of his home. Just a couple months ago, he was walking in his graduation ceremony and looking forward to moving out of Los Banos and his first day of college at UC Merced.

His dreams and aspirations were great but they were shattered on Saturday but before they went up, Francine said, Tyler said a prayer and made peace with God.

"Then he turned around and he gave me a hug, tightest hug I ever had, said, 'I love you mom,'" she said. "I said, 'I love you son," squeezed him and he got on the plane."

Francine isn't sure what went wrong.

She said one out of two parachutes deployed - the main one - but it didn't slow her son's descent.

Tyler was with two of his closest friends, Casey Nelson and Mario Muniz, during the jump.

"We all landed," Muniz said. "We were all having a good time until we realized Tyler wasn't there."

Looking back, Francine said things didn't quite feel right because a safety video was turned off early. And after the accident, she said the business, Lodi Parachute Center, didn't slow down.

"They just kept jumping, no cause for concern," she said.

The owner responded Saturday night.

"We didn't stop because we didn't like the guy, we didn't stop because we weren't interested in the guy, we didn't stop because life goes on," the center's owner Bill Dause said.

But for Tyler's mom and his friends, it isn't that simple.

"I'm going to miss every day without him," Francine said. "I don't know why this had to happen. We can't change it, but we can live in his honor."

This leaves her with questions all while she's mourning the loss of her youngest child.

"I will get down to the bottom of it and I don't care how long it takes me," she said.