Missouri Skydiver lovers who died together-Fiction!
The Girlfriend and Boyfriend Who Died Together Skydiving In Missouri-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
According to this eRumor, 25-year-old Laurie Kern and her boyfriend, 26-year-old Matt Pratruba, of Missouri decided to try skydiving. She was reluctant, but he talked her into it. When they got into the air, something went wrong with the airplane. The pilot told them to jump, which they did, and fell to their deaths because neither parachute opened. The pilot survived, but never flew again. This happened in 1996 and was reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper. The moral to the story is, "Is it really worth it?"
None of the facts in this story has checked out with newspaper or public records. It seems to have been written by someone who is terrified of the thought of skydiving and wanted to have a tale that would support that fear. There is no story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1982 to the present with any of these names. There is only one skydiving death reported, a woman who collided with a tractor while attempting to land. There are no stories in that time-period with the name "Pratruba" and no record of the pilot. Additionally, there are no deaths of any cause to a Laurie Kern or Matt Pratruba during that period in Missouri. The facts about the airplane emergency, the parachutes that would not open, and the pilot vowing to never fly again are not very realistic. The writer of the story looked at skydiving through his or her own eyes and said "it's not worth it" and very likely wanted others to feel the same. Jumping out of airplanes may not appeal to everyone, but when done properly, it is not a death sentence either.
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
Subject: Is it really worth it? My sister’s friend, Laurie Kern, and her boyfriend, Matt Pratruba, were going to go skydiving on June 18th, 1996.
Laurie was 25 at the time and Matt was 26. They lived in Florissant, Missouri.
Laurie was having doubts, but Matt kept telling her “Everything’s going to be fine! Don’t you want to be able to tell people that you’ve been skydiving?” So they went and as soon as the plane got up high and Matt was about to jump off, the plane started making funny noises. All of a sudden, the plane just dropped like a rock. The pilot told the two to jump out and just do everything they would normally do as if the plane weren’t crashing.
Matt and Laurie jumped out, and they pulled the string on their parachutes. Guess what happend. You got it; nothing happened.
Laurie and Matt died on that awful day.
I know that all of this is true because the pilot, Jeffrey McCormic, survived.
He watched as Matt and Laurie franticlly tried to pull their parachutes out. He watched in horror as they realized they were about to die. He prayed to God that his own life would be saved.
Since that day, Jeffrey has never flown another plane. Matt and Laurie’s death can be found in the June 19th, 1996 Post Dispatch.
I beg you to take notice of this, especially if you’re seriously thinking about skydiving, and think to yourself: Is it really worth it?