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'I Don't Know How a Person Can Survive a Fall Like That'

Skydiver hurt but expected to live after chute doesn't open during 5,000-foot plummet
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2019 11:50 AM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Mauricio Graiki)

(Newser) – She fell nearly 5,000 feet to the ground from a plane during a skydiving jump after her parachute failed to open, but by some "miracle," a 30-year-old woman in Canada is still alive, with non-life-threatening injuries. "I don't know how a person can survive a fall from an airplane like that," witness Denis Demers tells the CBC after the terrifying incident Saturday evening in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. The woman, who'd been skydiving before, made her solo leap with the Parachutisme Adrenaline operation, and Demers said he soon saw her falling faster than anyone else around her.

That's because, per Demers, neither her main chute nor her backup chute opened up. The woman landed in a cluster of trees, coming out of the plummet with multiple fractures, including broken vertebrae. Still, cops say she's not at risk of dying. Parachutisme Adrenaline is staying mum during the investigation, which police say is looking into whether there was any criminal negligence. "We watched all the way to the end," a fellow skydiver about to make her own jump says. "We were very worried. Very." (Read more parachute stories.)

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