Native Houstonian killed in parachute accident in North Carolina

LOUISBURG, NC -- One person was killed early Saturday afternoon while parachuting, according to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office. It happened at the Triangle North Executive Airport off Highway 401.

The victim was identified as 24-year-old James Stremmel.

He is originally from Houston, Texas.

ABC11 spoke with the victim's family right after they landed at RDU Saturday night.

"This was not at all expected," said sister Megan Stremmel. "The family is holding up as best as possible . . . He was a great guy."

Stremmel was an instructor at the Triangle Skydiving Center. He was licensed and had more than 1,800 jumps.

The owner of the Triangle Skydiving Center, Gregory Upper, says Stremmel had a hard landing. He says he is a close friend of Stremmel and had talked to him 20 minutes before the accident.

"James was a friend of mine and he was... and it was unfortunate," said Upper. "That's all you can say at this point. It's unexpected. It's unfortunate and it was a tragic accident."

Authorities don't know right now what went wrong.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

"The Sheriff's Office has all of the equipment and the FAA has already been notified. They will get the equipment on Tuesday. They will do they're investigation and at that point hopefully we'll know something," said Upper.

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