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Dead skydiver has local ties

A Chippewa Falls man whose father lives in Hudson died after an unusual skydiving accident that occurred at the Baldwin skydiving club Friday, Aug. 8.

Upon arrival, St. Croix County Sheriff's deputies found that CPR was being done on Todd Jacobson, 39, an experienced skydiver who had done more than 5,000 jumps in his career. Witnesses said Jacobson was skydiving with a group and his chute deployed normally, but just prior to landing made an abrupt turn so the man hit the ground face-first at a 45-degree angle.

Officials are investigating why the chute turned this way, but say it could have been part of an exhibition-style stunt being performed.

The accident occurred at about 2:18 p.m. Friday, and Jacobson was transported to the Baldwin Area Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead 50 minutes after the mishap.

The man's father is Mike Jacobson of Hudson. Shane LaCosse of Hudson said he had talked with Todd Jacobson a few times at Dick's Bar and Grill, and had been making plans to take lessons from him, since Jacobson also was an instructor.

The accident appears to have resulted from a quick, hard turn of a type done when skydiving for aerial display, LaCosse said. Even though accidents are rare, he's now feeling a bit uneasy about taking the lessons he had planned, LaCosse added.

A celebration of life is pending with Skydive Wissota in Chippewa Falls, and Jacobson's ashes will be scattered in flight. An obituary can be found on page 2C of this edition.

The Baldwin skydiving club -- Skydiving Twin Cities LLC -- is on County Road J on the west edge of the village of Baldwin.

The St. Croix County Sheriff's Department is continuing an investigation.