‘There are so many miracles’: Skydiver survives 65 mph impact after helicopter jump
SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — An incredible story of survival. A Utah County skydiver hit the ground traveling about 65 miles an hour and shattered dozens of bones including his face.
After 15 days in the hospital and six surgeries Austin Measles, 27, went home and is expected to make a full recovery.
“It’s the luckiest thing in the world that I didn’t break my neck or my head. I’m very lucky to be alive,” Measles said in an exclusive interview on KSL. “There are so many miracles.”
For the past three years, Measles has traveled the world making thousands of jumps. On Saturday, May 21 it all came to a terrifying halt when he hit the ground in South Jordan at an incredible speed, after making what he called a typical jump from a helicopter.
His wife and her family were waiting below at a park to watch him.
Measles said he misjudged the landing area.
“There were some hills in the landing area and I think I just hit one of the hills. I think I couldn’t see the hills,” he said. “It was just a freak accident.”
He shattered his face and his jaw disconnected from his skull.
“I’m wired shut right now in six places,” said Measles who talked through his teeth.
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He also broke his foot, his femur, his ribs, his pelvis, and punctured a lung. He is also on a feeding tube.
Amazingly he wasn’t paralyzed and did not get a head injury.
His wife Haylie was there at the park and witnessed it all. “When we first saw him, we didn’t think he was alive,” she said. “He was very swollen, didn’t look like himself at all. It’s pretty incredible. We are very lucky to have him here and to have him doing as he’s doing. Thought he would be in the hospital for months and months.”
Austin said he would have never made it if it wasn’t for his family and friends who have been by his side since day one. They’ve kept his spirits up.
“The only thing that keeps me positive is knowing that I’m alive. And that my neck works and that my back works and I’m going to make a full recovery. That’s the only thing that keeps me positive,” said Austin.
The other miracle of that day, for some unknown reason, Austin switched to a bigger parachute to slow his fall just before he jumped.
“It saved my life. [The other one] was too fast. I would have gone too fast,” he said.
Haylie hoped this is her husband’s last jump, “I would love to see him retire,” she said.
Austin is okay with that.
“If I quit right now it’s fine. I’ve done so many amazing things, I feel like there are people who wait their whole life to do and they never get to accomplish,” he said.
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