07/30/14 7:15pm
Investigators at the scene of a fatal skydiving accident at Skydive Long Island in Calverton Wednesday evening. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Investigators at the scene of a fatal skydiving accident at Skydive Long Island in Calverton Wednesday evening. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Update: The Skydive Long Island instructor critically injured during a tandem jump accident that killed a student Wednesday afternoon is in critical but stable condition, Riverhead Town police said.

The instructor was identified by police as Christopher Scott, 28, of Sound Beach. He was airlifted from Calverton to Stony Brook University Hospital.

According to a LinkdIn online profile, Mr. Scott has been an instructor at SkyDive Long Island since March 2012.

The correction officer killed in the accident, Gary Messina of Medford, who would have been 26 today, died at the scene.

His father, Carl Messina, a former Newsday pressman, told the newspaper Thursday his son went skydiving every year around his birthday for the past seven or eight years.

“He was a man’s man,” the father told Newsday, “an inspiration to all who knew him.”

This is the first fatality reported at Skydive Long Island in Calverton, though a death was reported at the company’s East Moriches location in 1989.

Skydive Long Island was open for business Thursday.

Initial story: A New York City correction officer was killed one day before his birthday and another man was critically injured during a skydiving accident at Skydive Long Island in Calverton Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

Federal authorities said the accident happened at 4:10 p.m.

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