Texas Teen Who Survived 3,000-Foot Fall Faces Long Recovery

A 16-year-old Texas girl who survived a 3,000-foot plunge in a skydiving accident should be discharged Friday from an Oklahoma hospital, but faces a long recovery.

Makenzie Wethington (File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (January 31, 2014) Makenzie Wethington, 16, of Joshua, who survived a fall of more than 3,000 feet in an Oklahoma skydiving accident last weekend, should be discharged Friday from an Oklahoma City hospital, but she faces a long recovery.

OU Medical Center spokesman Scott Coppenbarger says Wethington was expected to be transferred Friday to a Dallas-area rehabilitation facility.

She was flown last Saturday to the hospital from Chickasha, Okla., after the accident.

Wethington hurt her liver and broke her pelvis, lumbar spine in her lower back, a shoulder blade and several ribs.

Her trauma surgeon said it was remarkable she survived.

She plummeted to the ground after her parachute somehow malfunctioned and sent her spiraling downward.

Wethington still has a long recovery ahead, and it could be several weeks before she can bear any weight.

The static-line jump was the teenager's first.

Her helmet was equipped with a two-way radio and she was wearing an auxiliary parachute, but she failed to activate it, despite instructions to do so.

Wethington's father says his daughter should not have been allowed by the Oklahoma skydiving company to perform the jump, even though the teen's parents signed off on letting her do it.

The skydiving company says it took Makenzie up only because it received parental approval.


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