Remington J. Peters, a 27-year-old Colorado man, has been identified as the Navy SEAL who was killed when his parachute failed to open over the Hudson River during a Fleet Week demonstration on Sunday.
Peters was a member of the elite Navy parachute team Leap Frogs and was a role model whose accomplishments “far outweigh his years,” his family said in a statement issued by the Navy. Peters is “painfully missed,” the family added.
“He was an angel on earth and role model to all,” the statement reads. “We couldn’t have been more proud of him. He lived life to the fullest and taught us to do the same.”
Authorities are still investigating the reason why his parachute failed to open, reports NBC New York.
The accident occurred near New Jersey’s Liberty State Park across from Manhattan.
“I don’t think 90 percent of the people there were aware,” Nancy Malinowski told NBC New York. “Everybody was out there to support the military.”
The Cranford, New Jersey, resident said she knew something had gone terribly wrong when she saw a parachute with no one attached to it float behind a building.
She added: “It was devastating. We felt terrible. We figured it had to be a young man trying to do a little P.R. for the service. On Memorial Day weekend. It couldn’t have been worse.”
Peters was immediately rescued from the water by U.S. Coast Guard, according to a press release.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, and I ask for all of your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today,” said Rear Adm. Jack Scorby, commander of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.
The Leap Frogs were also scheduled to jump before a Mets game on Monday — but that event was cancelled following the fatal incident.