News | Skydiving

Skydiver Films Entangled Plummet to Earth, Lives to Talk About It: VIDEO


A skydiver posted the story and film of the harrowing accident in which he became entangled in his partner's canopy and plummeted to a cornfield, breaking his pelvis, back and neck, and undergoing instant paralysis.

The entire episode is on video, including the arrival of paramedics. He is now a quadriplegic.

He writes, on YouTube: "It's taken me four and a half years to be able to watch this video."

Watch the riveting and frightenng clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

Over the weekend, he posted it to Reddit, where he is answering questions about it.

I glanced at the ground a couple of times. The last time I was not far above tree-top level and my thought was, "I hope this doesn't hurt," (hoping for and expecting death).

The impact felt like touching and electric fence then suddenly painless. I lay there motionless watching the clouds. I didn't even try to move, afraid to provoke the wrath of whatever injuries I had sustained. When Razz appeared, he had a smile from ear to ear. This brought me peace until breathing became difficult. I started to feel panic as I suffocated. When I felt my eyelids flutter I knew I was going to be spared that feeling, hence, "this isn't so bad."

(via tdw)

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  1. please - as you watch this terrible event unfold, please understand that while skydiving is dangerous, the great majority of jumps go as planned are uneventful. It seems that whenever something horrific happens, the media (towleroad included) hops on it, only deepening the world's perception of our sport as frequently injurious if not fatal. This is simply not the case.

    What happened here is extremely unfortunate, but likely due to an extraordinary amount of human error. When skydiving is approached with planning and safety, its a life-affirming and exhilarating experience that is difficult to describe. Don't let this video tarnish your impression of a sport that has become a lasting passion in my, and many lives.

    Posted by: Jim | Dec 5, 2011 11:53:27 AM

  2. I don't care if it is exhilarating, nor do care if "the great majority" of jumps are uneventful. There is absolutely no way anyone could get me to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 5, 2011 12:03:55 PM

  3. Oh, and...I would have much preferred to see the video of the straight porn star Voodoo and his female companion skydiving while having sex. Can you find video of that, Andy?

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 5, 2011 12:06:42 PM

  4. I think this may be a publicity stunt. Shortly after the intro it says, "Directed by JJ Abrams". Watch it again with this in mind and it becomes a very different experience.

    Posted by: Pete | Dec 5, 2011 12:50:36 PM

  5. @Peterparker: I understand your mindset, the sport isn't for everyone -- there's certainly plenty of activities I have zero interest in.

    However, for anyone who is curious about the sport and maybe interested in making a jump next year, it was just announced that the annual get-together of gay skydivers will happen Labor Day weekend 2012 near Chicago. There's many of us who would love to share the many positive aspects of the sport with others, and it's a tremendous opportunity for those in our community to be out and proud (especially given some of the macho attitudes some skydivers have)... personally, the first such event in 2006 helped me come out to my friends and family.

    Posted by: Jeff | Dec 5, 2011 12:56:23 PM

  6. thats what I'm talkin about - whats up Jeff? ;-)

    Posted by: Jim | Dec 5, 2011 12:59:07 PM

  7. "Watch the riveting and frightenng clip" - oh hell no.

    Posted by: Timothy | Dec 5, 2011 2:04:27 PM

  8. @Jeff. Not SkyDive Chicago I hope. They always seem to be in the news around here for something or other. Terrible experience with them and I would NEVER go back there.

    Posted by: Nomad | Dec 5, 2011 7:30:08 PM

  9. @Timothy, yes, at SDC. SDC is my "Home" Dropzone now as my team trains there and I did over 150 jumps there in 2011. I don't work for SDC, but, I do know folks who do.

    I truly hate to hear ANYONE have a bad experience at ANY Dropzone. If I could help communicate anything on your behalf, I would gladly do so. Just let me know and I will give you my contact info.

    Posted by: MichaelG | Dec 5, 2011 9:30:19 PM

  10. @Pete - The "J.J. Abrams" thing is just a joke.

    If you read the Reddit conversations/questions you'll see he's totally legit.

    Note: From what he's said on Reddit, he's no longer a total quadriplegic. He has use of biceps, triceps, and wrists and can roll his wheelchair himself. He's totally paralyzed from the nipples down.

    Posted by: lookyloo | Dec 6, 2011 3:06:32 AM

  11. Jeff, I hope to have my Class A license before your jump in 2012. I would like to jump with your DZ and you for gay skydivers. I am currently in Oregon and my training DZ is Skydive Oregon.

    Blue Skies

    Posted by: btseven | Dec 10, 2011 2:33:38 AM

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