DALLAS (February 13, 2014) Makenzie Wethington, the 16-year-old Joshua girl who plummeted more than 3,000 feet to the ground in a skydiving accident in Oklahoma, said Thursday she blacked out after realizing her parachute canopy malfunctioned and doesn't remember striking the ground.
Wethington spoke Thursday from a wheelchair during a news conference at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, where she continues to recover from her injuries.
Wethington said she felt a rush of excitement when she jumped from the plane on Jan. 25 in the sky over Chickasha, Okla., but said elation turned to panic when her canopy malfunctioned and she was unable to correct the problem.
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 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’s now walking with assistance and is expected to recover.
The static-line jump was the teenager's first.
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.