DELAND, Florida — A 31-year-old Navy SEAL has died after making a hard landing during a skydiving exercise in central Florida.
William "Blake" Marston of Concord, New Hampshire, died Saturday morning after landing on the grounds of a DeLand airport, where he was doing the training exercise.
Police said after he was found on the ground unconscious and with a broken leg, he was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. A witness told police that something flew off his parachute as he was in free fall between 40 to 60 feet above ground.
Marston, who served in the Navy six years, graduated from the Derryfield School in Manchester in 2001. He was a star baseball athlete in high school and at Stonehill College in Massachusetts, where he majored in criminal justice and studio arts. He graduated in 2007.
Stonehill College head baseball coach Patrick Boen said Marston was a "terrific teammate and role model" in the baseball program and had looked forward to joining the Navy after graduation.
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