Retired Corrections Officer Dies in Skydiving Accident in New York

Karen Bernhard, 59, was killed in skydiving accident in Ostego County, NY.

"She was doing the things she loved to do," said Terry, the brother of Karen Bernard, 59.

A 59-year-old retiree out on a solo adventure was killed when her parachute malfunctioned while on a skydiving excursion, officials said. 

Karen Bernard, 59, jumped out of a plane to skydive when she appeared to have a malfunction with the parachute, according to a news release by the New York State Police (NYSP).

The incident took place on Saturday around 9 a.m. in Westford, New York, approximately 3-1/2 hours away from New York City. The NYSP is now investigating the fatal incident. 

Trooper and Public Information Officer Agnieszka Dembinska told Inside Edition Digital that anything about the mechanics of why her [Bernard] parachute had an issue has to come from the FAA.

Bernard, who lived in Wildwood, Florida, was a retired New York State corrections officer and originally from the Schenevus, New York, area. According to her Facebook page she was a skydiving enthusiast who often documented her jumps, People reported. 

The following day, Bernard’s brother, Terry shared the sad news on Facebook. Speaking on behalf of the family of Karen Knapp Bernard, he said his sister “was doing the things she loved to do.” 

“We’re all pretty numb and in disbelief,” Terry said, who asked that friends and family refrain from asking questions since they did not have a great deal of information at this time.

Many mourners responded to Bernard’s sudden and tragic passing.

“RIP. May we all do what we love every day. God bless,” said one person.

While another person wrote: “My deepest sympathy and condolences for Kent and her family. She doesn’t need any prayers as she’s definitely in Heaven.” 

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