Utah County Man Reflects On Paragliding Crash

Oct 15, 2018, 11:06 PM | Updated: Oct 16, 2018, 9:38 am

PROVO, Utah – A Utah County man slammed to the ground from more than 30 feet while paragliding this weekend. He was preparing to land in Pleasant Grove.

Monday night, he shared his story from the Utah Valley Hospital.

It was not necessarily how Nolan Heaps and his wife wanted to spend their 4-year wedding anniversary.

“Could I throw my reserve parachute? And then I realized I was coming in too fast, too low,” he said. “I don’t know what happened. It just hit some wrong air.”

Related: Utah County Man Hurt After Falling 30+ Feet In Paragliding Accident

But the couple’s situation could and should have been worse. Nolan said doctors feared he’d be paralyzed. Monday, he was literally walking away with less serious injuries, like broken vertebrae.

“I got a blessing before I went in and it’s just a miracle that it (spinal cord) wasn’t cut and I’m still able to walk,” he said.

While the soon-to-be dad said he does see life differently now, he still plans to paraglide, just with even more precautions.

“I don’t want to discourage people from flying or anything, I love paragliding. That was, it was a great flight,” he said crying.

“It makes me really nervous, but it already did, so I just have to pray and hope for the best because I know I can’t stop him,” said his wife Erica.

Now the couple is looking forward to their next big life event, the birth of their daughter, the day after Thanksgiving.

“We can’t be more thankful for how it’s turned out. Just good things in a tragic situation,” said Erica.

The Heaps have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. If all continues to go well, Nolan is expected to be in the hospital for just a couple more days.

His recovery is expected to take between three and six months.

Nolan will have a 10-pound carry limit for quite some time, so he and his wife are hoping their daughter isn’t born bigger than that.

Between moving and different jobs, Nolan doesn’t have insurance. Family members have set up a GoFundMe* link to help them.

*Disclaimer: KSL TV has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does KSL TV assure that the monies deposited will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit or donation you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Utah County Man Reflects On Paragliding Crash