Utah County Man Hurt After Falling 30+ Feet In Paragliding Accident
Oct 14, 2018, 11:15 PM | Updated: 11:29 pm
PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – A Utah County man is in the hospital after falling right out of the sky. He was paragliding, when something went wrong with his chute.
Luckily, help was only a baseball field away.
“It was just another day out here hitting the baseball,” said Colby Freyer. “We had no idea what was going to happen.”
Freyer spends weekends hitting with his son, who’s on Pleasant Grove High’s baseball team. Most of the time they’re watching for fly balls, but Saturday, they saw something else fall out of the sky.
“As soon as I looked out of the corner of my eye I saw his chute just completely fold up,” said Freyer. “It looked like it just stalled in the wind.”
Freyer saw a paraglider fall about 30 feet and hit the ground. He immediately ran to help and called 911.
“His chute was tangled up right in this tree, but he was laying right here,” motioned Freyer. “When he hit, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I know he’s hurt bad.’”
The paraglider who fell is 28-year-old Nolan Heaps.
“His whole life he’s just been obsessed with flying,” said Erica Heaps, his wife. “He’s been doing it for 13 years. He’s never had a hard landing, never had a crash.”
That changed this weekend. When he landed, Heaps crushed a vertebrae in his back and went into surgery Sunday. Erica is glad it wasn’t worse, for her, and for the couple’s new baby.
“We just are expecting our first child and I do work as a nurse so I just know that there’s always the possibility of internal bleeding, or just other possibilities,” said Erica. “It was just scary.”
She’s also grateful to the experienced dad who was in the right spot to help out the man who’s about to become one.
“I think anybody would jump at the chance to help anybody,” said Freyer.
Doctors said Heaps’ surgery went well, but the family will face some major medical expenses because Nolan didn’t have insurance. Family members have set up a GoFundMe link to help them. https://www.gofundme.com/help-nolan-walk-paragliding-fall?member=929654