CONCORD — A Lafayette man was seriously injured Sunday afternoon when he crashed his hang glider into an elementary school ball field, police said.
Witnesses told police it appeared the man was looking for a place to land as he circled Mountain View Elementary School at 3:15 p.m.
According to the onlookers, Christopher McKeon, 49, was about 30 feet up in the air when he suddenly, "lost air and fell straight to the ground," Lt. Steve Dyer said.
McKeon had a parachute on, but it was unopen. Although he was wearing a helmet, he suffered what appeared to be massive brain and facial injuries, Dyer said. He was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.
McKeon was unconscious when police arrived at the campus, located in the 1700 block of Thornwood Drive. He did not regain consciousness at the scene.
McKeon launched off Mount Diablo on Sunday with several other hang gliders from his Wings of Rogallo club, hoping to rendezvous at Lime Ridge Open Space in Walnut Creek. McKeon somehow got separated from the group, which is required to sign a waiver before jumping from Mount Diablo. The mountain is considered an advance-only hang gliding site, according to the club's Web site.
Sunday's accident marks the second time in less than a week that a hang glider has crashed in the area.
On Thursday, a man was taken by helicopter from Mount Diablo after crashing near the Juniper campground. Rescuers climbed about 50 feet above the campground to reach the man, whose injuries were not life-threatening.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.