Teen skydiver survives 3,500-foot spiral fall

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Edmond, OK, United States (4E) – A 16-year-old Texas girl is recovering at Oklahoma’s OU Medical Center Wednesday after miraculously surviving a 3,500-foot fall while skydiving in Chickasha.

Makenzie Wethington of Joshua is expected to regain strength after eight weeks of physical rehabilitation to heal a fractured liver and broken pelvis, shoulder blade, ribs, lumbar vertebra and tooth, according to doctors.

Trauma doctors initially thought she wouldn’t survive upon seeing her condition. But Wethington stopped bleeding and regained consciousness 12 hours after she was brought to the hospital on Saturday.

That same day, Wethington went skydiving that she requested from her parents as a birthday present. The Pegasus Air Sports Center in Chickasha trained her for seven hours and provided the equipment before she took the plunge that went awry. Skydiving trainer and Pegasus owner Bob Swainson, who flew the girl for the skydive, said he saw her parachute open fully when she jumped from the airplane but she or the parachute took a left turn that was not corrected and spiraled to the ground.

Swainson was sorry for the accident but feel there was nothing wrong with the equipment and the training was right.

Wethington’s father, who saw her fall to the ground, asked her later why she did not do a cutaway or opened her reserve parachute. She said she tried.

The parents of the girl are contemplating on suing Pegasus.

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