'Parachute didn't function properly' in jump that killed two skydivers in Nephi

Wendi Gabaldon, 41, died Thursday in a skydiving accident in Nephi (Photo: Gabaldon family)

(KUTV) An instructor and client died in a skydiving accident that authorities say may have been the result of a parachute malfunction.

Nephi Police confirm Wendi Gabaldon, 41, of Tooele, and Serena Whelchel, 35, of California, died Thursday evening during a tandem jump at Sky Dive the Wasatch.

Officials received 911 calls reporting the accident around 7:20 p.m. Thursday near the Nephi City Airport.

The jumpers had leaped from a Cessna 182 that took off around 6:30 p.m.

“The cause of the accident is still under investigation. The victims were immediately transported by ambulance to the Central Valley Medical Center where they succumbed to their injuries,” Nephi Police Chief Michael Morgan said in a news release.

Police did not say if the parachute failed to open. 2News has contacted Sky Dive the Wasatch for comment. A company spokesperson said information may be released shortly.

Wendi Gabaldon's daughter, Brianna Gabaldon, told 2News her mother "passed doing something she loved."

"She loved the outdoors," she said, adding her mother "always wanted to do things like skydiving. It was her second time going."

Wendi Gabaldon leaves behind a husband, six children, and two grandchildren, according to her daughter.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the Gabaldon family.

Daniel Woodruff contributed to this report

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