Army Special Forces soldier dies in ‘freak accident’ during off-duty skydive

The 29-year-old was off-duty when he died from a "freak accident"

An Army Special Forces noncommisioned officer was killed on Sunday in an “off-duty civilian free-fall accident” in North Carolina, the Army announced on Wednesday.

Sgt. 1st Class Justin Lowell Goff, 29, died in what the Charlotte Observer characterized as a “freak accident” during a recreational skydiving trip at Cape Fear Regional Jetport, according to the Oak Island Police Department.

The owner of of Skydive Coastal Carolina told North Carolina ABC News affiliate WTVD that Goff “had full control of the canopy and flew the parachute down to the landing area but for some reason picked up speed around 75 feet and made a hard landing.”

The Army is currently investigating the incident in conjunction with civilian authorities.

A member of the 1st Special Warfare Training Group at Fort Bragg, Goff enlisted in the Army in 2000 and deployed twice to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. According to the Army, Goff's military education included Military Free-Fall Parachutist Course and Jumpmaster Course.

He leaves behind a wife and three children.

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Haley Britzky
Haley Britzky

is the Army reporter for Task & Purpose, covering the daily happenings in the Army and how they impact soldiers and their families, as well as broader national security issues. Originally from Texas, Haley previously worked at Axios before joining Task & Purpose in January 2019. Contact the author here.

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