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Kite-flier who plunged to death is named

PUBLISHED: 18:48 20 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 March 2010

INVESTIGATIONS were today continuing into the death of a kite-flier who plunged to the ground in Stowmarket.

Lee Charity, 28, of Combs Green, Combs, Stowmarket was flying a power kite at the Chilton playing fields when the tragedy happened on Sunday.

INVESTIGATIONS were today continuing into the death of a kite-flier who plunged to the ground in Stowmarket.

Lee Charity, 28, of Combs Green, Combs, Stowmarket was flying a power kite at the Chilton playing fields when the tragedy happened on Sunday.

He was taken to the West Suffolk Hospital at Bury St Edmunds, but later died from his injuries.

An inquest will be held into the incident – but no date for it has yet been fixed by the Suffolk coroner.

He was flying a power kite with friends from Stowmarket. Police believe he was harnessed into the steerable kite and took off as winds gusted at up to 40mph.

A police spokeswoman said: "It seems that there had been certain modifications to his kiting equipment which caused him to be lifted high into the air.

"We believe that he was hoping to float back down to earth gently, but he suddenly plunged to the ground. We are still investigating the incident, but we are warning members of the public to take care when pursuing dangerous hobbies.''

The man was seen flying his giant dark-coloured kite with at least one friend for several hours before the tragedy happened.

A cricketer who was coaching youngsters nearby said: "They had an enormous kite which appeared to be about ten feet across. The wind was pretty strong and I saw them being pulled up into the air a couple of feet above the ground a few times before they floated down again safely.

"They seemed to be really enjoying themselves and were still up here when I left at lunchtime.''

A spokesman for the East Anglian Ambulance Service said an ambulance from Stowmarket was at the scene within three minutes of receiving a call at 1.45pm on Sunday.

Power kites are designed to fly at high altitudes and can be up to 10 metres wide. They can cost up to £500.

Many can produce enough lift to pull their controller off the ground. Kite-fliers are advised to be fully trained before operating them.

An inquest into the man's death is expected to be held later this week but a spokeswoman for the coroner said today nothing had been arranged so far.


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