January 29th, 2014
04:52 AM ET

16-year-old Skydiver Plummets 3,500 Feet

A Texas teenager is in "good condition" and recovering at an Oklahoma hospital after a skydiving went gone horribly wrong.

Makenzie Wethington, 16, plummeted 3,500 feet to the ground after an accident on her first skydiving jump to celebrate her birthday.

Her father Joe was clearly emotional as he spoke about the girl's accident on "New Day" Wednesday, though he said she's fairing well.

"She is a miracle," he said.

Despite the freefall, her trauma surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Bender, added that Wethington should be completely healed in six to eight weeks.


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  1. Andrea M.

    JESUS!!! WHAT ABOUT JESUS ??? !!! Can you believe this??? This girl survives a 3500ft. Freefall and survives.. NO life threatening injuries, NONE that required surgery except a TOOTH. NO outside injuries visible. Too many fractured bones to mention but they are ALL going to heal on their own? When the father was asked what he thought contributed to her survival his answer was like the doctors told him "that she was healthy". Are you kidding me? The host even mentioned the word"miracle" a couple of times that I recall.. And the doctors response when asked about her survival.. not verbatim, but "it wasn't one person in particular." I know the father stated that she is a "miracle". But not one time did I hear the name that is above all names... JESUS.. this saddened me terribly.. and I just had to say this.. thank you JESUS for carrying this 16 yr old young lady to the ground.. what a testimony!!!

    January 29, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  2. Denyse

    Sorry but who in the world would let their 16 year old go skydiving in the first place?! Unreal! Glad she is going to be ok

    January 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  3. Dave

    Amazing this girl survived. What a miracle!

    January 29, 2014 at 9:05 am | Reply

    Lots of prayers for her, fast and full recovery!

    January 29, 2014 at 8:56 am | Reply
  5. Charlie Brown

    The good Lord was watching over that young lady.

    January 29, 2014 at 7:32 am | Reply
  6. skytag

    The headline is BS. She did not "plummet." She was under canopy in a spin, which means she spiraled down to the ground, and the definition of plummet is "fall or drop straight down at high speed."

    Spiraling into the ground is bad, but it's sensationalist to call it plummeting when it's nothing like that.

    Since the advent of tandem rigs it's pretty rare for someone to do a solo first-time jump. Also, 3,500' sounds low for a first time jumper to deploy. I'd advise deploying no lower than 5,000', both to give more time to address a problem and more time to practice handling the canopy if there's no problem.

    It was a long time ago, but I seem to recall deploying at 5,500' or so for my first solo jumps, and that was after doing five tandem jumps.

    January 29, 2014 at 7:32 am | Reply
  7. helena handbasket

    looks like the guy on the ground was trying to give her directions on how to counter the spin, or cut away, but she did not do so. might have been freaked out. in any case, i hope she recovers quickly

    January 29, 2014 at 6:41 am | Reply

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