CHENEY, Wash. - Hard-packed dirt and parasailing behind a truck apparently don't mix, as one person found out the hard way – literally – in Cheney this last weekend.
Eyewitness Ethan Garcia was nearby when the parasailing attempt was made on a plot of land outside town.
"I guess he went 40 feet in the air or so and something took a turn for the worst, and the left side of the parasail gave out and down he went," Garcia said.
Garcia, who recorded the whole event on his cellphone, said a group of people had been practicing for about an hour before they attempted strapping someone in.
"In the back of my mind I was saying 'You should say something, you probably shouldn't do this,' but I figured there was five of them out there giving it their all so it probably wouldn't have made a difference, so I did the next best thing and grabbed my camera," he said.
Garcia lives across the street and watched as they did about six dry runs in a 40-acre field off of South Thomas Mallan Road in Cheney. Unfortunately the last run would land the parasailer in the hospital.
"Once I stopped recording the video, I jumped in my truck and drove out there and did a quick once over to see what his injuries were," Garcia said.
Garcia says the parasailer bit through his lip and injured his tailbone, an injury that even experienced parasailers say could have been much worse. Jamin Rodriguez with Coeur d'Alene Parasails said he wouldn't have attempted the stunt these people pulled, and noted the style of parachute they used is for jumping out of planes, not parasailing.
"It's designed for you to steer it as you descend. They didn't know what they were doing, because they didn't know how to steer a chute," Rodriguez said.
Regardless if they had the right equipment, it shouldn't have been attempted by an amateur in the first place.
That individual is OK and is lucky to be able to walk away with a very valuable lesson in gravity and that parasailing is best attempted with professionals over the relatively forgiving water and not over hard-packed dirt.
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