Elite Carson skydiver killed during competition

LODI, Calif. - A Carson City woman was one of two members of an elite skydiving team who were killed when their parachutes entangled at 6,000 feet during a group jump Sunday in Northern California, a San Joaquin Sheriff's spokesman confirmed.

San Joaquin Sheriff's Deputy Les Garcia said Barbara Cuddy, 48, of Carson City and Robert Bigley, 32, of Redwood City, Calif., were killed in the 1 p.m. accident near the Lodi Airport.

The two were part of the Red Line jumping team, an eight-member group practicing for the U.S. Parachute Association national skydiving championships next month.

Bill Dause, owner of the Parachute Center near Lodi, said the team was jumping in close formation when three parachutes became entangled. One diver was able to separate and safely deploy his chute. Bigley died immediately on impact, and Cuddy died at a hospital.

Dause said the two skydivers had each jumped more than 4,000 times.

In 2007, Cuddy was part of a world record-setting 100-person skydiving formation.

In a December 2007 Nevada Appeal story about the world record, Cuddy said at the time that she had made more than 3,200 jumps and had earned one gold, four silver and two bronze medals at the U.S. Skydiving Championships.

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