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Instructor in fatal skydiving accident loved being airborne

Eldon Burrier
Eldon BurrierSkydive Barnstable

The instructor killed in a skydiving accident this weekend on Cape Cod was an outgoing person who was passionate about “sharing the sky’’ with students he encountered at Skydive Barnstable, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Eldon Burrier had teamed up Sunday with Andrew Munson of Nantucket in a tandem jump from the Cape Cod Airfield in Marstons Mills, a jump that ended with both men fatally injured when they missed the landing zone and slammed into a shed in a backyard.

Munson was 29 years old. Burrier, who was 48, had ties to Washington state.

In an e-mail signed Skydive Barnstable Management, the company said it believed that Burrier tried to save both parachutists’ lives before impact.

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“We know without a doubt that Eldon died bravely doing what he loved while doing everything he could to protect his student Andrew,’’ the company said without explanation. “Both jumpers were obviously incredibly special individuals.’’

Burrier was popular among co-workers and in the skydiving community. “He was a great guy with a passion for sharing the sky with his students, had a great sense of humor, and loved golf, playing with the dogs on the airfield, and had an affinity for making friends anywhere he went,’’ the statement said.

“There are countless times where the team would go out for a dinner and find Eldon making new friends at other tables,’’ the statement added.

Munson and Burrier are the 22d and 23d persons to die this year in skydiving accidents, which include a Mattapan man who was killed skydiving in Pepperell this summer.

In 2010, the Seattle Times reported that Burrier was rescued after his parachute got caught on a rock outcropping in Washington state. He spent the night dangling 600 feet off the ground. According to that article, Burrier was a landscaper and former Army paratrooper.

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Munson was a longtime employee of Don Allen Ford on Nantucket, where his large circle of friends included co-workers, beach volleyball players, and his neighbors on Polpis Road.

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