A Texas teen is lucky to be alive after her parachute failed during her first skydive, sending her spiraling 3,500 feet before hitting the ground.

Mackenzie Wethington, of Joshua, Texas, went skydiving in Oklahoma with her father for her 16th birthday. In Texas, one must be 18 to skydive, but Oklahoma allows skydiving for people ages 16 and up.


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Wethington’s father jumped first, and she jumped next. Another man was supposed to jump after her, but he backed out, so the instructor did not jump.

For some reason, Wethington’s primary chute didn’t open. Instructors tried to talk her through opening her emergency parachute via radio, but she stopped answering them and may have blacked out.


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The teen spiraled out of control and hit the ground, suffering a broken vertebrae, shattered pelvis and internal bleeding.

“God's hand caught her,” her sister, Meagan Wethington, said. “Had to have been.”


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Meagan says her sister is now breathing and talking on her own.

The family has hired a lawyer and wants to know how this happened.

Watch Trace Gallagher's full report.