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Autopsy: Worker Jumped To His Death Off Launch Pad

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53-Year-Old Fell 130 Feet Off Launch Pad 39A.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A space shuttle engineer who died in a fall from a launch pad at Kennedy Space Center jumped to his death, according to an autopsy report.

In March, James Vanover, 53, who worked for United Space Alliance, fell 130 feet from launch pad 39A, where space shuttle Endeavour remains stationed.

According to the autopsy report, Vanover died from multiple blunt force injuries, and the manner of death was suicide.

The report said Vanover had a note in his wallet to his wife and children, telling them that he was going blind and did not want to burden them. The autopsy said Vanover showed no signs of macular degeneration and he did not have diabetes.

An investigation showed that Vanover was depressed and had been drinking heavily and had voluntarily been evaluated under the Baker Act a week before his death, the report said.

Vanover accepted a compensated layoff two weeks before his death, but he apparently changed his mind and tried but failed to retain his position, the report said.

Via Worker Jumped To His Death Off Launch Pad


Written by Nokgiir

May 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm

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