A miracle saved 16-year-old Mackenzie Wethington from a near fatal 3,500 feet fall from a parachute ride gone wrong. Though her father watched in horror as his teen daughter was plummeting from the sky, he credits that Mackenzie survived because God was her ultimate protector.
"Makenzie jumped out of a plane, but she fell in God's hands," said Joe Wethington, her father. Following the accident, Mackenzie was taken to the Oklahoma University Medical Center. The 3,500 feet fall was equivalent to a measure more than half a mile, and caused serious trauma and injuries to Mackenzie.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Bender, the 16-year-old suffered a shattered spine, ribs, shoulder and pelvis and broke a tooth. The fall, according to Dr. Bender, was if as she was hit by a car "going 50 miles per hour." Baffled, he was shocked that she survived such a fatal fall and called it a miracle. "I don't know the particulars of the accident as I wasn't there. But if she truly fell 3,000 feet, I have no idea how she survived," said Bender to the press outside the hospital.
Despite the relief that Mackenzie is alive and survived the fall, the question remains to exactly what happened during the parachute flight. Joe Wethington insists that his daughter did nothing wrong and it was equipment failure that led to Mackenzie's traumatic fall. Before taking flight, Mackenzie took a class on how to parachute sail and was not responsible in the equipment malfunction.
Wethington claims that not only was the class insufficient, but the equipment was also not in the best form. "We went to the class, which was inadequate. The equipment is inadequate." claimed her father. "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."
The owner of the skydiving company, Pegasus Air Sports in Chickasha, Oklahoma, refused these claims that their equipment or classes were below standard or lead to Mackenzie's fall. "I'm sorry about the girl who got hurt," said Robert Swainson, owner of the company. "I don't feel that there was anything largely wrong with our equipment."
Swainson did admit that there was nothing to do about the fall and Mackenzie could not be reached in time before she fell. "It was correctable, but corrective action didn't appear to have been taken," said Swainson regarding the fall. He claimed that Mackenzie's parachute opened properly, but the spins may have contributed to Mackenzie's fall. Swainson did provide some instructions for Mackenzie on her radio helmet and kept communication during the accident.
Mackenzie Wethington is still recovering from the fall, which is being helmed as a miracle from many media outlets that she wasn't instantly killed. No surgeries were required for any of her injuries and she is in stable condition. There have been no reports so far that Joe Wethington or the family are pursuing any legal action.