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Bend man unhurt, cited after crashing powered paraglider into power lines in Tumalo

(Update: Adding video, comments from neighbor, Janes)

TUMALO, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Bend man escaped injury but was cited Tuesday evening after he flew his powered paraglider into power lines over the Deschutes River in Tumalo and became entangled, also causing a power outage, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.

The sheriff’s office received a report shortly before 6 p.m. of a paraglider who crashed into power lines near Otter Run Lane and was hanging from the small power lines just above the river, Sgt. Jayson Janes said.

Deputies responded and learned the 41-year-old man had been flying just above the river when he hit the power lines and became entangled. He was unhurt and was able to remove himself from the paraglider, Janes added.

Janes said it sounded like the man was about 10 feet above the river. He explained that he was flying low because that’s  "how it sounds like he enjoyed to fly the paramotor."

Janes said the man took off from the Bend Municipal Airport and planned to return there.

"It sounds like he was flying very low, probably … 10 feet up above the river, when he had flown into the power lines," the sergeant said.

Area residents said several people ran out of their homes to try and help the man, but he was able to get out of his entanglement on his own.

"I saw the paraglider, and then I was wishing I had a camera to take a picture of him," Marsha Anderson said. "And then about 20 minutes later, I saw all the sheriff's (deputies) and all the lights."

Pacific Power was contacted due to damage to the power lines, and crews were able to remove the powered paraglider from the lines. Power to nearby homes was restored after several hours.

About 60 Pacific Power customers lost service in the area until just after 11 p.m., utility spokesman Tom Gauntt said.

The paraglider was issued a citation for second-degree criminal mischief, due to the power line damage, Janes said, adding that more charges are possible.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified of the incident, the sergeant said.

NewsChannel 21 contacted the man, but he declined to speak on camera.

Article Topic Follows: Accidents and Crashes

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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.


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