A correction was made at 4:30 a.m. Sept. 1, 2023: An earlier version of this article reported that the paraglider had been traveling south when it crashed into the river. Detectives later determined that it was actually heading north when the incident occurred.
A 51-year-old Eugene man was killed Saturday near Peoria when the paraglider that he was a passenger in crashed into the Willamette River, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Two fishermen on a boat helped rescue the pilot, a 56-year-old man from Eugene. He was transported by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis.
The passenger who lost his life was still underwater in the Fenix AirTap Paramotor paraglider when first responders arrived on the scene Saturday morning. BCSO’s response occurred at around 7 a.m.
The National Transportation Safety Board with oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration is further investigating the incident.
According to the investigation, the two men took off from Irish Bend County Park near Monroe and flew north while following the river.
BCSO said in a news release that impairment is not initially believed to have been a factor in the crash. Law enforcement did not release the names of the pilot or passenger.
The Halsey Fire Department assisted at the scene.
The investigation remains open and anyone with information is encouraged to contact Benton County Sheriff’s Office Detective Kim Lovik at 541-766-6818.