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accident

An 81-year-old man was killed in a skydiving attempt gone awry Saturday outside Marion, the Flathead County Sheriff's Office said Monday. 

Flathead County Sheriff and Coroner Brian Heino identified the man as Gerald F. Fischer, of Moorhead, Minnesota. 

According to a release from the sheriff's office, the Marion Fire Department and Flathead County Sheriff's deputies responded to a Skydive Lost Prairie event shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday. 

Witnesses said "the seasoned skydiver" experienced a "hard opening" when deploying his parachute.

The sheriff's office reports witnesses as saying Fischer's descent then began a counterclockwise turn that continued from 4,000 feet in the air until he landed in a pasture. Fischer was pronounced dead at the scene, according to to the sheriff's office.

Over the years the Lost Prairie Boogie event has seen several deaths, including that of 27-year-old Zack Fogle, of Washington, in 2011; Garl Newby, of Colorado, in 2010; and five people in 2007 after a skydiving plane crashed shortly after takeoff. 

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