Teen survives falling over 3,000ft in skydiving accident

AOL Travel

A teenager is extremely lucky to be alive after falling more than 3,000ft to the ground in a skydiving accident after her parachute didn't open properly.

Makenzie Wethington, 16, attempted the jump on Saturday in Oklahoma, Texas.

Dr Jeffrey Bender, a trauma surgeon, said Makenzie injured her liver, broke her pelvis, the lumbar spine in her lower back, a shoulder blade and several ribs in in the fall.

According to People.com, he said: "I don't know the particulars of the accident, as I wasn't there. But if she truly fell 3,000 feet, I have no idea how she survived."

The Metro reports that Makenzie's sister Megan told local news that her primary parachute didn't open and she spiralled out of control towards the ground while her father, who jumped first, could only look on in horror.

The paper adds that a second parachute went up but not out.

Makenzie's parents had given permission for her to do the jump as part of a 16th birthday gift, but her father Joe has since said the company should not have allowed it to happen.

According to Sky News, Robert Swainson, owner of Pegasus Air Sports Centre, said Makenzie's parachute opened by she began to spiral downward when the chute went up but not out.

He said all the skydivers, including Makenzie and her father, were given a six-hour training session beforehand.

Makenzie had a radio in her helmet through which someone gave her instructions for the "correctable" incident but "corrective action didn't appear to have been taken", said Robert.

Mr Swainson said he did not jump out after her as there was no way he could have reached her.

Also, another diver had become scared and refused to make the jump so protocol said he had to remain with the frightened person on the plane.

He added: "The most I could have done is screamed."

Nancy Koreen, director of sport promotion at the US Parachute Association, told the Daily Telegraph its safety requirements allow someone who is 16 to make a dive with parental consent, but that some places set the age limit higher.

She agreed that a frightened diver should not be left on a plane alone, and that the instructor wouldn't have been able to help Makenzie even if he had jumped from the plane.

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