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Skydiving teacher dies of heart disease during tandem jump

SLIDELL, La. (AP) — A skydiving instructor died of heart disease before hitting the ground in a tandem jump that injured his student.

The coroner in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/2sbcGr0 ) that 58-year-old Benjamin Leroy Crowell died in the air over Royal Golf Course near Slidell. His student told authorities that Crowell lost consciousness after they left the plane Sunday.

An autopsy was done Tuesday.

Brenda Grafton, who owns Skydive Nawlins, says Crowell was a longtime instructor who had done more than 9,000 jumps. He was from Theodore, Alabama.

The Federal Aviation Administration is handling toxicology testing, as is standard procedure.

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