New law signed in memory of Los Banos teen killed in skydiving accident

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A bill called Tyler's Law was signed this week in honor of Tyler Turner who died last August when his parachute malfunctioned during a tandem jump. (KFSN)

A fatal skydiving accident that killed a Los Banos teen last August brought to light concerns about the parachuting industry. The Governor signed a bill called Tyler's Law this week in honor of one of the young men killed.

Memories of Tyler Turner are ever present in his Los Banos home. A picture on the mantel shows the 18-year-old's smiling face strapped in before his life ended in a free fall.

"You are putting 100 percent trust in them, and we felt very betrayed," Tyler's mother Francine Turner said.

Tyler and his instructor died while tandem jumping from the parachute center near Lodi. An investigation revealed that instructor was not properly certified and may have forged his papers.

His mother, Francine, says someone needs to be held accountable.

"It was shocking, absolutely unbelievable that they would send someone unqualified to jump with my son," she said.

The FAA chose not to sanction the business after a year-long investigation. But Francine took her concerns to the Capitol. And last Saturday, the governor signed a bill that gave the state more oversight of the parachuting industry.

"I was elated, some justice for my son, a step, and I don't plan to quit," Francine said.

Tyler's Law makes it an operator's responsibility to make sure instructors are certified and parachutes are properly packed. It also allows victims to sue skydiving companies if they fall out of compliance.

"It's up to them to check and make sure they are putting a qualified person out there, how are we to know otherwise," Francine said.

It's a small victory in the face of such loss she carries every day.

"It's really hard to feel joyous when on the other side it is such great sorrow," she said.

Francine's wounds still run deep, but now her pain comes with a purpose.
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skydivermerced countyLos Banos
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