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Skydiver's death ruled a suicide, officials say no experienced skydiver would loosen harness

Maine State Police interviews with other skydivers and industry officials concluded that no experienced skydiver would loosen a parachute harness by mistake.

LEBANON (NEWS CENTER Maine) — Maine State Police say the death of a skydiver in Lebanon has been ruled a suicide.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office has concluded the death of 41-year-old Brett Bickford of Rochester, N.H. was a suicide. Bickford fell to his death on September 27 when he was jumping with another man.

RELATED | USPA: on average, one student skydiver dies in every 500,000 tandem jumps

State Police say interviews with other skydivers and industry officials concluded that no experienced skydiver would loosen a parachute harness by mistake. Bickford, an instructor at Skydive New England, was jumping with a second man when he fell to his death. The second jumper landed safely with the parachute.

Investigators concluded that Bickford intentionally loosened his harness in midair.

Bickford’s body was located on Sept. 28 in the woods near the skydiving facility.

If you or someone you love needs help, you can call the Maine Crisis Hotline 24/7 at 1-888-568-1112 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).