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Former Minister’s son Dies after Parachuting Accident in Richmond

Mar 7, 2024

ADF soldier Jack Fitzgibbon, the son of former Labor defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon has died after a parachuting training exercise near the RAAF Base at Richmond yesterday.

The lance corporal was injured just after 6.30pm yesterday when he got into trouble during a jump and landed at Sydney Polo Club in Richmond Lowlands.

Brigadier James Kidd said this afternoon that Fitzgibbon was loved for his courage, humour and “ service to the country”.

“We are devastated and heartbroken by the loss of our wonderful Jack. Serving in the special forces was Jack’s dream job and we take comfort from the fact he died serving his nation,” Joel Fitzgibbon,said  in a statement read by Kidd. 

Kidd said Jack Fitzgibbon was a qualified parachutist. All parachute training has been suspended while the incident is investigated.

Eye witnesses said they rang for assistance before the soldier hit the ground at about 6.30pm yesterday. They said they saw two parachutists above Sydney Polo Club on Richmond Lowlands, one of whom was clearly in trouble when his parachute appeared unable to open.

Six-year old Maya who also witnessed the incident with her mother and sisters and drew a picture of the fall. The two parachutists appeared in the sky a considerable distance from their normal landing zone.

Multiple emergency service vehicles including ambulances rushed to the scene. More arrived with sirens on about an hour later. A helicopter was also seen landing at Sydney Polo Club.

In a statement Defence said First Aid was rendered at the scene.

 

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