Paraglider who died in The Roaches spun out of control due to turbulence, inquest hears

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A 50-year-old man who died while paragliding in The Roaches lost control after running into turbulence, an inquest heard.

Lee Burton, of Rayneham Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, was an experienced paraglider who took part in his sport on July 31, 2015, North Staffordshire Coroner’s Court heard.

Roy Critchlow, owner of a field near Buxton, told the inquest how he saw Mr Burton falling to the ground.

He said: “It was spinning and in 40 years I have never seen one coming down like that. I knew there was something wrong.”

Anthony Shipley, another paraglider, said: “The glider moved very quickly from right to left and dropped about 25 feet.

“He seemed to have control for a few seconds but then spun and went down to the ground from about two hundred feet.”

Jason Morrey, a fellow paraglider, told the inquest watched Mr Burton take off and soar before coming into difficulty.

Within minutes, an ambulance arrived to treat the father-of-one but Mr Burton, who worked as a fence builder, was pronounced dead at the scene.

David Thompson, a senior technical officer at the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association investigated.

He said: “The conditions on that particular day were difficult and tricky to predict.”

Mr Thompson said he checked the the victim’s parachute and could find no fault with it.

Pathologist Dr Paul Simcock concluded that the cause of death was tear in Mr Burton’s main artery.

Assistant coroner for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, Anthony Curzon, said: “My conclusion is that this was an accidental death, a tragedy for a gentleman who clearly enjoyed his sport.”

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