Skydiving accident claims life of Delco mayor

Mayor C. Scott Shield, Rutledge, Pa.

March 26, 2011 12:44:55 PM PDT
The mayor of a suburban Philadelphia town has been killed in a skydiving accident in southern New Jersey.

A fatal sky diving accident in Gloucester County, New Jersey has claimed the life of a Pennsylvania Mayor.

Rutledge, Delaware County is a community without a mayor Friday night.

"He loved anything that had speed and was living on the edge," said Greg Lebold.

Rutledge Council President, Greg Lebold, spoke of his friend C. Scott Shields; an avid skydiver, the Mayor of Rutledge, and an attorney in Media, Delaware County.

"Extremely intelligent, very valuable to the Borough in helping us with budget, police contracts, anything that we needed help with, Scott was there to jump right in and help," said Lebold.

The father of three, lost his life skydiving in Williamstown, NJ, after his main chute failed to open, according to preliminary findings by detectives with the Gloucester County Prosecutors Office.

Witnesses say his emergency chute, which opens automatically, never fully deployed.

He was only 45 years old. Friends are stunned.

"Scott was extremely intelligent. He was a pit bull at what he did. He was kind. He offered services to those that couldn't afford it," said Jonathan Farber.

Authorities say he flew from Freefall Adventures.

It was just before 4:30pm when the accident happened. Shields landed in a wooded area just off the runway of the Cross Keys airport, directly behind the landing field.

"Apparently there were no other problems with the airplane itself or any other skydivers," said Captain Joseph Smart. "No other injuries reported, and no malfunctions with the airplane itself."

"My heart and prayers go out to all of his kids and his ex wife," says Brian Lesher.

Detectives will meet with the FAA on Saturday to inspect the parachute rigging.

An autopsy is also scheduled to see if any health issues may have been a factor.

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