Skydiver hurt during jump

June 28, 2008 5:19:14 PM PDT
A skydiver was hurt and rushed to the hospital after jumping out of a plane Saturday at SkyDive Houston in Waller County. The incident happened while a festival was going on. Even though the skydiver landed far from the landing pad, it took paramedics under three minutes to get to him.

"We're aware of a femur fracture. We're aware of a pelvic fracture. And we're aware of a radius ulna fracture," said Skydive Houston owner Todd Bell. "But last time we checked, he was alert and oriented."

The man who was injured is an extremely experienced skydiver with more than 3,000 jumps. He was at SkyDive Houston for a weekend fundraiser called the 'Deadman Drop.' He had joined 19 other divers to make a 20-man formation.

Witnesses say his main parachute didn't deploy properly. A backup chute, however, did activate. Still, the man didn't have enough time to brake and ended up hitting the ground hard.

According to witnesses, the skydiver told his friends seconds before paramedics took him away to continue having fun and to continue skydiving this weekend.

Skydivers are very committed, love the sport and consider it very safe.

"Let me explain one thing," skydiver Mike Swearingen told us. "If you were ever a little kid and looked up into those clouds and ever thought about how cool it would be to fly through it, we do that. We go right next to it and surf right next to the side of a big white puffy cloud."

At last word, the injured skydiver was alert and getting ready for surgery.

SkyDive Houston has a strict no-alcohol policy. No one can drink alcohol on the premises during the day, only in the evening after the last skydiver comes in.

This is the second accident at SkyDive Houston this month. A 49-year-old man broke his leg on June 1 after deploying his parachute too close to the ground. Back in February, another skydiver hurt his leg and pelvis after a rough landing.

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