SAN DIEGO — A skydiver who died Sunday after possibly suffering a medical issue while in the air near Chula Vista was identified Monday, according to Cal Fire San Diego.
San Diego resident Joseph James Wingen, took the skydive jump Sunday morning in which there were no malfunctions and the parachute opened as expected, according to authorities and representatives for Skydive San Diego.
Wingen's brother Jonas Wingen issued a statement Monday afternoon on behalf of the family [Note: Joseph Wingen's last words include adult language]:
"It is with the heaviest of hearts that I am saying this, we lost my brother Joe Wingen yesterday at 11:00 a.m.
Joe was skydiving yesterday solo, he was happy and super excited to be jumping, he jumped and deployed his parachute, everything was fine, and something happened while he was descending. We are not 100 percent sure on what happened, we will find out in the next few days? Maybe a heart attack? We don't know yet.
Joe loved skydiving and I talked to him Saturday and he was super happy and excited to jump again, this was Joes last picture [seen above] right before he jumped at 9:30 am yesterday and these were his last words before he went up in the air and jumped
'Shit's about to go down. The last jump was 17 years ago. Check. Jump! Fears lead to an average life lol.'
Our whole family is heartbroken but I know he was happy before he passed and that makes it easier to deal with, we love you Joe."
According to Joseph Wingen's supervisor, the 47-year-old performed his maneuvers to a tee showing he could locate the handle to pull the large docile canopy with complete altitude awareness. But at some point, his instructor went ahead and landed waiting for his student.
Wingen deployed his own parachute but then the instructor noticed he drifted off course away from the landing area. Skydive San Diego crews rushed to help find the him.
A San Diego County Sheriff's helicopter located Wingen at about 11 a.m., according to Deputy Fire Chief Harry Muns of the Chula Vista Fire Department.
Cal Fire crews responded to the scene on Otay Lakes Road northwest of the Skydive San Diego Glider Port along with sheriffs and the Chula Vista Fire Department.
Officials said Wingen was in "CPR status" when they arrived. He was then hoisted up to an ambulance where he was pronounced dead at 11:40 a.m. and an official with the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office was called to the scene.
Authorities are investigating what medical emergency Wingen apparently had while in midair.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story did not include the victim's last name.