Sulphur native dies in skydiving accident in Houston - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana


Sulphur native dies in skydiving accident in Houston

Randy Schell (Source: Twitter) Randy Schell (Source: Twitter)

Sulphur native and world-renowned voice actor Randy Schell died in a sky-diving accident Saturday in Houston.

Steve Thompson, a professor at McNeese and a member of the Parapokes, was on a Texas 20-way competition team for two years with Schell and was there at Skydive Spaceland in Houston the day of the accident.

"My understanding is that they collided mid-air and they became entangled," said Thompson. "It was a pretty significant impact because the other jumper's helmet came off and the other jumper had to cut away his main parachute, and had to land under his reserve, and had a broken leg. Then Randy, at that point, I don't believe he was able to respond because of the impact, because he was a highly trained skydiver and he would have responded."

Bruce Merchant of KEZM met Schell when he was working overnights in the radio industry around the Lake Area in the mid 70's.

"He built probably two or three of the radio stations in town," said Merchant. "Installed equipment, put transmitters on the air, he taught me how to change tubes in transmitters, processing equipment and other things like that. He was a good teacher. He knew what he was doing and he liked what he was doing."

Schell started out as a broadcast engineer but also was an on-air personality at KLOU and other stations in the area.

"There aren't very many engineers like him, not many guys that did what he did in the radio business," said Merchant. 

He is remembered as being talented at everything he did, from radio to voice over work. He became a world renowned voice-over actor, but you wouldn't know it.

"He undersold himself, he didn't appear to have an overt ego," said his friend of around 40 years, Dwayne Bruette.

He remembers Schell as one of the kindest and most caring people.

"Always made other people feel special, made you feel like you were the biggest thing in the room, even though very frequently he was," said Bruette. 

Bruette met Schell through sky diving and has lost several friends in his 49 years of experience

"It's always sad and affects you deeply even though I don't overly show it, but I'm a better person for having known him," said Bruette.

The United States Parachute organization says it is in the process of investigating the accident to see what exactly happened during Schell's dive.

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