Texas teen survives 3,500 foot fall during skydiving accident

Makenzie Wethington is in intensive care unit with a broken back, pelvis and bleeding in her brain.
By Evan Bleier  |  Jan. 28, 2014 at 12:48 PM
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CHICKASHA, Okla., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A Texas teenager who went skydiving to celebrate her 16th birthday is recovering in the hospital after her parachute didn’t open and she fell 3,500 feet.

Makenzie Wethington was seriously injured during the skydiving accident at Pegasus Air Sports Center in Chickasha, Okla., and she is in intensive care unit with a broken back, pelvis and bleeding in her brain. Despite the severity of her injuries, she is expected to recover.

Wethington went up to attempt the jump with her father and was allegedly allowed to go solo even though it was her first time skydiving.

"We go through those scenarios and tell the jumper how to control, how to fix the problem. From what we can determine, she did not do that, go through that training as taught," said Pegasus Air Sports Center owner Bob Swainson. “There was nothing wrong with the parachute… And there’s nothing you can say to the parents, the family because you know they’re certainly upset. There’s nothing I can say to the parents, the family that they’ll probably understand, that will make them feel better.”

Students at Joshua High School are raising money for Wethington’s family by selling t-shirts. “The whole community is coming together in such a great way and supporting her with all of our hearts and we just want her to keep fighting because we believe in her. She’s Makenzie strong,” said Wethington’s friend Mia.

"The whole thing that's keeping us going is because she's still alive and really she shouldn't be," said Meagan Wethington, Makenzie’s sister. "And now she's breathing on her own. [It's] spectacular."

Makenzie’s friends have created a Facebook page for her to collect contributions and keep people updated about her progress.



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