CHICKASHA, Okla. – A Texas woman has been awarded $760,000 after she was badly injured in a skydiving accident in Oklahoma about two years ago.
Mackenzie Wethington was 16 years old in January 2014 when her parachute malfunctioned and she fell more than 3,000 feet to the ground in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
“I remember jumping out of the plane and looking up and seeing there was a complication with the parachute, so I started kicking my feet like I was taught in the class,” Makenzie told NewsChannel 4 in 2014. “I looked up and it still wasn’t fixing so I tried to pull the togs apart and I just was not strong enough to fight off the wind. So, I just remember screaming and I blacked out.”
Her injuries included damage to her liver and a kidney, some bleeding in her brain, a broken pelvis, lumbar spine in her lower back, shoulder-blade and several ribs and several teeth.
Pegasus Air Sports Owner Bob Swainson released a statement after the accident:
“The jumper left the airplane… the parachute appeared to open OK. Soon after the opening, the parachute started to rotate. There are a number of technical reasons why that could have happened, possibly caused by the jumper herself. The jumper didn’t sort out the rotation in accordance with the training she received earlier and continued to rotate to the ground and hurt herself.”
Several months later, the Federal Aviation Adminstration released its findings on the parachute and reported it appeared to be in good condition.
“We make no findings of blame and draw no conclusions beyond verifying the condition of the parachute,” the report read.
However, Wethington filed a lawsuit and claimed she wasn’t properly trained and that her parachute was inappropriate for her skill level.
According to the Associate Press, Wethington — now 19 years old — was awarded $760,000 last week.
Pegasus Air Sports in Chickasha is now closed.