A 16-year-old girl, parachuting for the first time, fell more than 3,500-feet after her parachute failed. Although severely injured, the teen is still alive, according to the New York Daily News on Jan. 28.
Makenzie Wethington's parachuting adventure was part of her sweet 16 birthday present. A few things happened during her first time jumping out of the plane that set stage for this horrific accident because she was without a safeguard.
First time skydivers usually do a tandem jump with an instructor, but with her father’s consent, she was allowed to jump solo. The instructor should have also jumped out of the plane, but the person he was to do a tandem jump with got cold feet, so he had to ride with the guy back to the airport instead of jumping.
If he had jumped as planned, he could have made his way over to Makenzie when her parachute malfunctioned and helped her with the emergency chute. Makenzie’s father, who was also went solo in this jump was put in line to jump out of the plane before his daughter, even though he requested to jump after her to keep an eye on his little girl. Makenzie was the last one out of the plane and by then her father was in the middle of his jump.
This horrific accident happened in Chikasha, Oklahoma and Makenzie’s family members were on the ground watching her terrifying jump. Her sister said there was an instructor talking to Makenzie via a Walkie-talkie that was hooked up as an earpiece to Mackenzie.
Her sister said she could hear him saying, “pull the emergency chute, reach up and pull the emergency chute,” after it was obvious from the ground she was struggling. Makenzie’s shut ejected and went straight up as she exited the plane, but it never opened up to catch any air.
Makenzie’s sister Meagan Wethington said that the family knows that Makenzie is still with them, but she shouldn’t be alive after a 3,500 fall to the ground. She is suffering from various broken bones and vertebrae, but she is talking and wiggling her toes today so she’s making progress.
The parachute did not malfunction, but the young girl from Joshua, Texas panicked and this caused the accident claims the instructor.