Mission Beach Man Is Suing Skydiving Company After Losing His Wife In Freak Mid-Air Accident

Two diving instructors also died

Article heading image for Mission Beach Man Is Suing Skydiving Company After Losing His Wife In Freak Mid-Air Accident

Kerri Pike (right). Source: Hooked Up Fishing Adventures Facebook

Alistair Pike has lodged two claims against Experience Co operator Australia Skydiver, a dependency claim and a personal injury claim totalling $580,000 over the freak sky-diving accident that killed his wife. 

Pike says he watched on in horror as he saw his wife Kerri collide with two diving instructors mid-air over the beach in October 2017. He and his wife, mother-of-eight Kerri Pike were celebrating her 54th birthday when she was involved in the mid-air collision that sent her to the ground at Mission Beach, south of Cairns. The two instructors involved also died. 

Pike says the incident left him with a psychiatric injury.

An inquest in August 2019 found solo jumper Toby Turner, 34, made an “error of judgement” when he packed his parachute into an incompatible container before the accident. 

Turner was killed when his chute opened and crashed into tandem jumpers Mrs Pike and Peter Dawson, 35. Turner was directly underneath the pair at the time. All three fell to the ground. 

In her findings, coroner Nerida Wilson said there was a lack of regulation among solo sports jumpers. 

"There is a culture in the skydiving industry which allows those with experience to self-regulate with regard to downsizing and container compatibility," she said at the time.

She made several recommendations including that the Australia Parachute Federation action day-to-day buddy checks before boarding planes and 6-month equipment checks on sports rigs. But Mr Pike was not satisfied, finding the recommendations were not harsh enough on solo jumpers.  

"Falling out of the sky at high speed and trying to slap hands — that shouldn't be happening when you have people doing their first jump. That could be fixed very easily by regulation, but it hasn't been fixed," he said.
“I’ve never been a money person and anybody that knows me will tell you the same thing. But I’ve tried every vehicle to try and get the sloppiness of the skydiving industry under the spotlight,” Pike added.

Pike says he does not want to see another family go through what he and their shared children have gone through. 

“It destroyed my family. This is about recognition of preventable deaths.”

Pike says in the years since Kerri’s death, the grief has been incredibly difficult on their eight children. 

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Triple M Newsroom

9 September 2021

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