The veteran skydiver who died Sunday after his chute failed to open during a jump in eastern San Diego County was the brother-in-law of famed NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson.
In a message posted on his website Monday, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion said his family was “saddened by the tragic passing” of his wife’s brother, identified by the county medical examiner as 27-year-old Jordan Janway, of San Diego.
“Jordan was an incredible son, brother, uncle and friend and will be dearly missed,” the statement read. “Please keep the Janway family in your thoughts and prayers. The family asks for privacy at this time.”
Janway -- an instructor at Skydive San Diego -- was working on a tandem maneuver Sunday afternoon with another skydiver when the two collided, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. He may have been knocked unconscious.
Like many skydivers, his gear normally included an emergency device to open his chute in case he was unable to. But the device was not packed among his gear during Sunday’s jump, possibly because it was undergoing maintenance.
Janway plunged to the ground near Otay Lakes outside Jamul and was declared dead at the scene after a search by land and air to find his body. The other skydiver landed safely, officials said.
Janway was described as a veteran skydiver who had logged hundreds of jumps.
Sunday’s outing included 20 skydivers.