OK: Teen skydiver survives 3,500-foot fall
CHICKASHA, OK (CNN) — A 16-year-old is on the mend after falling 3,500 feet during a skydiving accident.
That first time jumper was 16 year old Mackenzie Wethington.
"Nobody survives that," said Holly Wethington, Makenzie's mother.
But Mackenzie is surviving. She’s in ICU right now, in and out of sleep, each time she's awake, remembering bits and pieces of her horrifying experience. But her father Joe Wethington remembers much more.
He says only half of the parachute opened as Mackenzie spiraled to the ground,
"The guy with the radio on the ground is trying to talk her out of what's going on and telling her what to do and she can’t do it,"
"She's going too fast and in different directions she can’t reach up and grab it anyway and then when she goes into the spiral he keeps telling her to cut away to release the shoot and to pull the reserve."
But the owner of Pegasus Air Sports Center in Chickasha, Bob Swainson says the parachute opened completely.
"The jumper left the airplane. The parachute appeared to open ok. Soon after the opening the parachute started to rotate. There are a number of technical reasons why that could have happened possibly caused by the jumper herself. The jumper didn't sought out the rotation in accordance with the training she received earlier and contented to rotate to the ground and hurt herself,"
Mackenzie hit the ground, a 3,500 feet fall.
"She would scream and arch her back and ask me to rub her back," Joe Wethington told NBC.
Paramedics soon arrived and Mackenzie was airlifted to OU medical center.
"It was like somebody has sit on my chest really an elephant and it did not come off until I got here....not knowing if she was going to be ok or not," Holly Wethington explained.
And doctors are telling the Wethingtons Mackenzie is going to survive.
"She's a miracle child, that she's doing well and she's going to be alright," Joe Wethington said.