NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Family members of a Brooklyn man who was killed in a skydiving accident over the weekend said he died doing what he loved.
For Arkady “Art” Shenker of Bensonhurst skydiving was more than a hobby.
“It was actually an addiction,” the victim’s wife, Larissa Shenker, told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.
“It was like love at first sight and you couldn’t stop him,” the victim’s son, Gene Shenker added.
Shenker’s wife and two sons were finding peace Monday in knowing he died doing what made him feel most alive.
“He wasn’t afraid of anything. He told us not to be afraid of anything. To say it is one thing, but I think he actually lived by that,” the victim’s son, Alex Shenker, said.
On Sunday, Shenker and 15 others were skydiving with the company Freefall Adventures when something went terribly wrong.
“I see this parachute swinging around and around,” witness Scott Palmer said.
Shenker’s parachute had failed and he plunged to the ground in Gloucester County near the Cross Keys Airport. It was his 350th jump and his third one of the day.
Shenker would have turned 50 this Friday and even though his family is planning his funeral, they said they will still be celebrating his life.
“I think even now he’s around. I feel his energy and I think it will be always,” his wife said. “He told me, ‘don’t worry, everything will be okay.’ He will always be with me.”
“He would only want me to smile now, and get past this, to live on … and know he’s here,” Alex Shenker said.
The skydiving company told CBS 2 it has no comment about what happened.
The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating.
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