Makenzie Wethington Survives 3,500 Foot Skydive With Tangled Parachute

January 28, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Makenzie Wethington, 16, survived a crazy fall from the sky when her parachute became tangled while sky diving.

Her first jump ended with several broken bones and major internal injuries.

The jump was for her 16th birthday.

While in her home state people under 18 aren’t allowed to sky dive, it is allowed in Oklahoma at age 16 if you have parental permission.

Wethington appeared to be excited but nervous for her first jump, telling friends on Twitter that her dad was jumping with her and that she’d “be careful” but that she had courage.

“Me: Why am I the only girl doing this? My dad: You’re the only girl who has balls,” Wethington relayed her conversation. 

Her family told Fox that her father jumped first, then Makenzie. Another man was supposed to jump with them, but he was too afraid, so the instructor stayed in the plane as well.

Her father landed safely and watched in terror as Makenzie spiraled to the ground.

“Her vertebrae broke in half,” her sister Meagan told Fox News. “Her pelvic bone completely split in half. She has more broken bones in her back. She has two broken ribs … her teeth.”

“She honestly keeps saying is, she just thinks it was her fault, because she couldn’t reach up and pull the chute,” said Meagan.

The teen is expected to make a full recovery after wearing a neck and back brace for a while.

Bob Swainson, owner of Pegasus Air Sport, told KVUE that the parachute did open but that there was a problem–though they’re not sure what created the problem.

He added that Makenzie didn’t follow training given on how to activate the second parachute each jumper has.

Makenzie’s family said that she panicked, which is why she didn’t deploy the second chute.

There are questions about why she was jumping alone on her first try and why no instructors jumped after her.

The family has hired a lawyer and may press charges.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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