UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 BY BAY CITY NEWS SERVICE
Walden Grindle, who died Sunday in a sport parachute crash, worked since 2002 as the geographical information systems manager at Jack Neal & Son Vineyard Management in St. Helena.
He also worked at Neal Family Vineyards winery in computer administration, web and graphic design, marketing materials and labeling, according to the company's website.
His duties included managing new technology applications in weather monitoring, vineyard imaging and field computer operations.
The company's president Mark Neal said he was too distraught to
comment this morning.
Grindle and his wife Danielle got married in December.
PREVIOUSLY:Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 A 35-year-old St. Helena man died Sunday when his sport parachuting apparatus crashed into the south side of Mount St. Helena, according to the Napa County Sheriff Capt. Tracey Stuart.
Stuart said Walden Grindle, an experienced sport parachutist, crashed at 12:40 p.m. Sunday after taking off at the top of the hill off the mountain's access road north of Calistoga at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park.
Napa County Sheriff's office was notified of the crash at 12:45 p.m. by Emergency Response International, which was triggered by a S.P.O.T. beacon worn by Grindle. The beacon gave out the GPS coordinates where Grindle was located.
Before he died, Grindle called his wife on a cell phone, Stuart said.
"His wife called us to make sure we were on the way," she said.
Grindle was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic who was long-lined into the crash scene from Sonoma County Sheriff's Henry 1 helicopter. The helicopter long-line then lifted Grindle's body out to the road on top of the hilll, Stuart said.
Stuart said Grindle was highly experienced at paragliding or sport parachuting, an activity where where "you open a parachute behind you (after a jump), which picks up the wind like a kite," she said.