Florida Kite Surfer Who Survived Cancer Dies After Strong Winds Fling Him Into The Side Of A Building
A Florida man tragically died after a strong gust of wind blew him into the side of a building.
The fatal accident took place on Wednesday, August 25, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Fred Salter, 61, was identified as the victim.
Rescue crew were dispatched to the home at around 10 a.m. following reports that a man "had flown into the side of a residence," Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan told CNN. Salter reportedly had not gotten into the water yet when he was picked up 400 feet into the air by winds and was thrown into the second story of a home on the 2600 block of North Atlantic Boulevard.
Salter was taken to a local hospital in critical condition but passed away three hours later.
First responders found Salter's kite tangled in the balcony of the home and his board at the beach.
"When our units arrived, we had very strong gusts in the area," Gollan told the New York Daily News. "We had a storm come through just prior to the 911 call, so [it] went from relatively calm conditions to extremely dangerous conditions in a short period of time."
The chief told PEOPLE that these kinds of accidents are not common and the last kiteboarding accident was a decade ago.
In emergency situations, kite surfers can usually activate a safety release system to disconnect the kite but it is not clear if Salter tried to do so.
A GoFundMe was set up to cover the "expenses of the funeral bills, and give the family some comfort during this difficult time." So far, it has raised almost $4,000 of a $15,000 goal.
According to the fundraiser, Salter had previously beaten cancer. He "never took life for granted and lived each moment to its fullest."
"Fred leaves behind 4 children Chris, Christina, Cami and Sally as well as 2 grandchildren. Before Fred's passing he was the sole care giver for his youngest daughter Sally (14) and his granddaughter Ariel whom he has raised since birth," the GoFundMe read.
"If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting Fred, you would know how kind and loving he was," the page noted. "He valued his family and enormous group of friends more than anything. Fred was the center of his children's universe and now they are left with the unknown."