A skydiver who died on Saturday after when her main parachute failed to open has been described as "well loved" by her parents.

Pamela Gower, 49, suffered fatal injuries when she hit a parked car in a cul-de-sac in Shotton Colliery, County Durham.

She was an avid skydiver and was using a modified rig, approved by the British Parachute Association (BPA), as she had restricted growth.

Her parents Catherine and Len have issued a statement which described Pamela as "a great girl who was loved by her family so much and was a wonderful daughter and sister."

Pamela was a very determined and independent woman who let nothing get in her way and we feel this photograph of her next to the Taj Mahal is a perfect example of this. Our mam always told Pamela how proud she was of her, as was the rest of our family. We will remember how she always saw the funny side of things, just like her 'da'. She often asked her 'da' who was his favourite, and he used to say 'you were the best of a bad bunch!' as there were five children. She will be a huge miss as she was loved by everybody. It was lovely to hear the warm messages from everyone and we would like to thank people for sending us their kind words. We would also like to thank all those who were involved in trying to help Pamela, from the nurse and the ex-soldier who were first on the scene to the various agencies who tried to save Pamela, including the police, ambulance service, paramedics and the hospital. >

Catherine and Len Gower

Durham Police said Ms Gower's reserve parachute did deploy, and the circumstances of her death are being investigated jointly by the police, the BPA and the Civil Aviation Authority.