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Paraglider dies prior to launch in Angeles National Forest

May 7, 2012 | 10:11 am

A paraglider preparing to launch died suddenly before takeoff in the Angeles National Forest, officials said Monday.

The paraglider was dead when forest deputies and rescue crews from the L.A. Fire Department arrived Sunday at the Kagel Canyon launch site near Pacoima, said Angeles spokesman Nathan Judy.

The man, identified by coroner's officials as Thomas Cornelius, 69, of West Hills, was discovered by a friend who used Cornelius’ cellphone to alert authorities, Judy said.

Lt. Cheryl MacWillie of the L.A. County coroner's office said the man “collapsed,” adding it could have been a “natural death.” She said an examination to determine the official cause of death could be performed as early as Tuesday.

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— Matt Stevens

Twitter.com/mattstevenslat

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