MONROE, Ga -- At the Monroe-Walton County Airport, a group of skydivers boarded a plane from Skydive Monroe on Saturday.
This walk is the same one Joseph Bennett made thousands of times before.
"The public doesn't understand why we do this sometimes - except we love jumping out of airplanes and the freefall," Skydive Monroe's owner Bill Scott said.
Scott had known Bennett for more than 20 years. And he witnessed Saturday's jump.
"The weather was clear, we had about a four mile an hour wind," he said. "Eighty-five degrees, it was excellent for skydiving."
He said Bennett completed around 6,800 jumps - often teaching others to dive or with cameras strapped to him capturing the jumps of Skydive Monroe customers.
"Good skydiver and what are you going to say," Scott said. "He became an instructor, tandem instructor, all the ratings you do for teaching students."
But despite being extremely meticulous about skydiving safety, Saturday would prove to be Bennett's last jump.
Normal opening, flew back, came in and just started his turn to come in," Scott said. "Final approach for landing and just started too low and h it the ground at a high rate of speed."
Medical staff at Skydive Monroe ran to help Bennett. He was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital where fire officials said he ultimately died of his injuries.
Scott said Bennett's wife is devastated.
"She has good family support - all of her family is around and friends," he said. Close friends are being very supportive of her and what's gone on. It is a hard thing to do.
And Scott is remembering his good friend of more than two decades.
"We jumped all over the country together," he said. "Real NASCAR fan. Loved going to Daytona. Just an all-around good guy. Just a lot of fun, always enjoyable - a lot of fun."
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