CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. — The company involved in a skydiving accident that resulted in the death of Chappaqua resident David Winoker and his instructor is disputing published reports that the parachute malfunctioned.
"I can tell you that [instructor Alexander Chulsky] was alive and did deploy the main parachute," said Skydive the Ranch employee Carolyn Sullivan. "But then the parachute was doing a slow turn and continued to turn until they hit the ground."
While Sullivan and others are waiting on medical reports to confirm the exact cause of the accident, she believes Chulsky became unconscious at some point after deploying the parachute.
Sullivan's statement echoes that of Joe Richards, president and owner of the Ulster County company, who also said the parachute appeared to have opened normally.
Plattekill Police Chief Joe Ryan also confirmed that the chute opened correctly.
Winoker, 49, was the president of Winoker Realty, a Manhattan company his father, Sidney, started in the 1980s. The company owns several office buildings in Manhattan, many of them in the Garment District.
Winoker is survived by his wife, Jillian; two daughters, Hillary and Alyson; and a son, Jared. He was remembered in a funeral service Sunday.