Skydiver Survives 3,500-Foot Fall

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

A corrugated iron roof hardly seems like a soft place to fall, but it helped slow down Lt. Charlie Williams enough that he survived with minor injuries after his parachute failed to open during a training exercise in Kenya. Williams, 25, of the British Army, was on his third jump two weeks ago when he clipped the side of the door while exiting the aircraft and began to spin as he fell and became entangled in the parachute rigging. "I was completely helpless," he told reporters as he recovered at his parents' home. "There was nothing I could do. I said to myself 'this is it' and I prepared to die." He crashed through the roof and was surprised to find himself alive on the floor of someone's home with "a crowd of puzzled Kenyans" looking at him. He said he was skydiving in an effort to overcome his fear of heights. "I'm still scared of heights, but I certainly haven't been put off parachuting," he said. "I don't know if I'm lucky or unlucky. I'm alive and frankly that's all that matters," he added. Williams suffered three cracked vertebrae and a dislocated finger.