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Jim PetersenDRAPER, UT — Authorities say 57-year-old Jim Peterson died after the paramotorist crashed through the roof of an LDS church in Draper.

The accident happened Sunday morning during services for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 272 E. Traverse Point.

Steven Howlett said he and Peterson took off together from the Point of the Mountain and were flying alongside each other as they have for the last three years.

Peterson had more gas than Howlett, so when Howlett decided to land, Peterson kept going.

It’s not clear what malfunctioned with Peterson’s paramotor, but shortly after the two separated Peterson was seen spinning rapidly in a free-fall.

“We have heard reports that there might have been a collapse of the chute,” said Sergeant Chad Carpenter with Draper Police. “We don’t have that confirmed yet though.”

Peterson ended up crashing through the roof of the LDS church while dozens of people were inside. No one inside the church was hurt, but there was nothing that could be done for Peterson.

Howlett believes his friend was already unconscious before hitting the roof.

“All those G-forces hitting him,” he said. “He probably blacked out from all the spinning.”

Police said they will release additional information about the investigation as it becomes available.

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