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Paraglider Killed in Sunday Accident Identified

Dr. Ron Faoro, 60, Was a Popular Veterinarian at St. Francis Pet Clinic


Santa Barbara authorities have confirmed the name of the paraglider killed Sunday afternoon when he slipped out of his harness above Rattlesnake Canyon.

Dr. Ron Faoro, 60, was a veterinarian at St. Francis Pet Clinic on Ortega Street. A native of Portland, Oregon, he had lived in Santa Barbara since 1981 and was married with one daughter.

Dr. Ron Faoro
Click to enlarge photo

Dr. Ron Faoro

Faoro was an avid paraglider, according to his social media accounts and online profiles, and would take to the skies as often as he could. Images on his Facebook page show him in solo and tandem flights in recent years. In 1998, he was named a Local Hero by The Santa Barbara Independent for his veterinary work.

Other paragliders at the scene Sunday said Faoro had forgotten to strap his legs into the tandem harness he was sharing with his teenage daughter. Not long into the pair’s flight above the Santa Ynez Mountains, Faoro fell out and dropped approximately 1,000 feet, rescue personnel said. Faoro’s daughter remained in the harness and was rescued with minor injuries after she crashed into a tree.

Sunday’s accident marked the first paragliding death in Santa Barbara since the 1970s, members of the Santa Barbara Soaring Association said.

This article has been amended to clarify Faoro fell approximately 1,000 feet. Santa Barbara fire officials originally said he dropped 3,000 feet.

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