Middletown mayor injured in skydiving incident; credited for quick actions that saved two lives

Equipment malfunction led to Condrey’s emergency move 100 feet off the ground.

The quick actions of the Middletown mayor are being credited for saving two lives: hers and her teammate’s.

John Hart, owner of Team Fastrax, a professional skydiving team based in Middletown, said during training exercises Wednesday night at Hook Field in Middletown, he and Mayor Nicole Condrey were connected with straps as they were carrying a large American flag.

But there was an equipment malfunction and Hart was unable to release the strap as the two skydivers neared the ground. That’s when Condrey, a veteran of 2,300 jumps and a member of Team Fastrax, implemented the “emergency procedure” and released the secondary strap when they were about 100 feet off the ground.

Hart said Condrey’s “extensive training and quick reaction” saved their lives.

“It was a miracle,” he said.

Hart said there’s always danger involved in “high risk” training exercises.

Condrey said the exercise includes a “very difficult maneuver” since the skydivers are strapped to the flag and they fly face down toward the ground. She said only “very experienced” skydivers can complete the jump.

She didn’t have time to get scared, she said.

“Instincts and training come into play,” she said.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Condrey crashed into the side of a hangar and Hart landed hard into a nearby fence, they said. Condrey broke her right arm and Hart suffered four broken ribs. She had surgery Thursday morning at Atrium Medical Center and expects to attend Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

Middletown fire Chief Paul Lolli said one skydiver was taken by Middletown paramedics from the airport to Atrium Medical Center. Hart said he drove himself to the hospital where he was treated and released.

About the Author