4/17/2017 - From KFOR News Ch4 -- CHICKASHA, Okla. – A Texas woman has been awarded $760,000 after she was badly injured in a skydiving accident in Oklahoma.
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.
“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, and a broken pelvis, lumbar spine in her lower back, shoulder-blade and several ribs and several teeth.
The owner of Pegasus Air Sports, Bob Swainson, released this 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 FAA released its findings on the parachute, saying that 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, claiming she wasn’t properly trained and that her parachute was inappropriate for her skill level.
Court records obtained by the Associated Press indicate the now-19-year-old Wethington was awarded $760,000 last week.
Pegasus Air Sports in Chickasha is now closed.