PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach Police continue to investigate a horrible accident at a high-rise condominium on Front Beach Road. According to police, a man with a parachute went off one of the upper floors of the building Sunday night and apparently fell to his death.
Police said a man tried to BASE jump off of this condo complex Sunday, he was on the 23rd floor of the Sunrise Beach Condominiums. He did have a parachute, but when he went airborne it did not fully deploy and he ended up dying at the scene.
Witnesses across the street tell News 13 when they heard this happen, they rushed over to try and help but knew it was too late.
“My husband stopped me when we were in conversation and he was like, something just happened outside,” said a witness at Moes Restaurant Brianna Stevens. “We saw everybody outside kind of stand up, someone rushed in and was like “call 911, call 911.”
Stevens was among many at Moe’s Barbecue who witnessed 31-year-old Timothy Ackerman attempt to base jump, and she ran to try and help once he made an impact.
“He had landed kind of in the ditch,” she said. “There were some rocks, I don’t want to describe him, it was not a very pleasant scene. His parachute looked like it had partially deployed and was kind of coming up partially towards the roadside and by the time I had gotten there, there were already a couple of people down there. One person was checking for a pulse.”
After speaking with friends and staff at the restaurant, Stevens said she was told Ackerman was an experienced jumper.
“You know, he had a family and friends and they all have to learn to live without him now, it’s a void that’s left behind,” she said. “And every year somebody attempts this, whether it be a local or a spring breaker, usually spring breakers, and every year somebody is lost because of it, and it’s just not worth it.”
The Panama City Beach Police want to remind visitors and residents it’s against the law to trespass and there is no legal place to base jump within the state of Florida.
If you have information on this case, contact beach police at 850-233-5000.
News 13 has reached out to the Sunrise Condominiums and Skydive Panama City where Ackerman worked and has not received a response as of Monday, March 22.