HOUSTON - One person was killed and another injured in a skydiving accident at Skydive Spaceland Houston on Saturday.
The company confirmed two skydivers collided mid-air during a group skydive at the facility.
The skydiver who was killed has been identified as world-renowned voice actor Randy Schell. The second jumper has not yet been identified by authorities and was treated for a leg injury.
Both skydivers were licensed, experienced jumpers and had each made at least one successful skydive earlier in the day on Saturday.
“There are inherent dangers, as there are with anything in life. What happened to Randy and Dennis, the other gentleman he was involved in the collision with, was the equivalent of stepping off the curb and not seeing the bus coming. It was fate.” said Chuck Akers, a friend and fellow skydiver.
Akers is a radio personality on Country Legends 97.1. He was one of eight people who participated in the formation skydive on Saturday. Akers is also on the board of directors with the United States Parachute Association.
He spoke to KHOU 11 reporter Stephanie Whitfield on Sunday and explained what happened the day before.
“At the end of the skydive, when you’re skydiving in groups, we all have to get away from each other so we can deploy our parachutes without colliding with one another. These are gliding parachutes, so the moment they open they begin moving forward, like they’re designed to do. Randy and another jumper on the other load, by sheer chance, opened fairly close together. Randy had what is called an off heading opening, meaning the parachute didn’t open facing forward. It opened, unfortunately, facing the other jumper,” said Akers.
Many may not recognize Schell’s face, but his voice has been heard my millions of people around the world.
He was the voice of commercials for AMC’s hit TV show The Walking Dead and had also done work for major brands including 20th Century Fox, McDonalds, Geico, Coco Cola, Nike, and several others.
“He was probably one of the most unfamous, famous guys on the planet, because everything he did was behind the scenes. You only had to hear his voice one time to know exactly who Randy Schell was,” said Akers.
Houston talent agent and Schell’s long time representative Jenny Josby, told KHOU 11, Schell was loved by everyone he worked with.
She added Schell had a remarkable voice and was an all-around great person.
"He had a golden voice, he knew what to do with it. He was a constant professional. Everyone loved working with him. He was also a brilliant producer and engineer. He was a great friend, a great man and a great client." said Josby.
"Randy was one of those guys you always knew you could count on. Not just as a skydiver, but as a friend and as a coworker,” said Akers.