It was supposed to be a fun exhilirating experience, but quickly turned into a death roll that one Texas teen is lucky to have survived.
16-year-old Mackenzie Wethington from the Forth Worth area went on a skydiving trip with her father Joe to Chickasha, Oklahoma for her very first time skydiving. But, a malfunction with her parachute as she jumped caused her to spiral out of control falling more than 3000 feet. She is lucky to be alive.
Mackenzie suffered a lacerated liver and kidney, a broken pelvis, spinal fracutres, and other contusions. Her father Joe jumped right before Mackenzie and watched her fall.
As Mackenzie lies in the hospital recovering, her father Joe blames the skydiving company Pegasus Air Sports Center for the accident. Saying they shouldn't have allowed his 16-year-old daughter to jump, even though he gave his consent. Parental consent is required for student jumpers under the age of 18.
Nancy Koreen with the U.S. Parachuting Association says accidents are tragic, but rare, "Skydiving overall has a pretty impressive safety record considering how many sky dives are made annually and how many accidents there are, which is a pretty small number."
The Wethingtons were doing a static jump, which is when you jump out of the plane with a tether attached that automatically deploys the parachute as soon as you jump.
The owner of the skydiving company says Mackenzie's chute opened correctly but she began to spiral downwards after the chute went up but did not open. The owner says jumpers and instructor taught Mackenzie how to correct that very problem during the 6-hour training course before the jump.
According to Robert Swainson, the owner of Pegasus Air Sports Center Mackenzie was also wearing a helmet with a radio through which instructors gave her instructions to correct the malfunction. Swainson said, "It was correctable, but corrective action didn't appear to have been taken."
Mackenzie's sister Meagan has set up a site for donations to help with Mackenzie's medical bills. Click here, to donate.