Woman safe after landing in tree when parachute collapses in mid-air

Source: Chief Barry McRoy
Source: Chief Barry McRoy

WALTERBORO, SC (WCSC) - A parachutist had a less than stellar landing when she found herself 75-feet up in a tree near the end of a runway instead of on the ground.

Officials say the incident occurred around 11 a.m. Friday morning close to Robertson Blvd and Old Air Base Road in Walterboro.

According to a report, the woman was spotted in the woods near the old Colleton Middle School. Her red parachute was deployed and snagged the top branches of a tree, leaving her to hang from her harness 75-feet in the air.

The woman said it all started when her parachute was hit by another skydiver, causing it to collapse. Officials say that by the time the parachute reopened, she was close to the ground and did not have good control, causing her to land in the tree.

Fire and rescue officials say they responded to the scene with an engine, heavy rescue, ladder truck, ambulance and several other support vehicles but were unable to get into the wooded area.

That's when Colleton County Fire Rescue Chief Barry McRoy says employees from Murdaugh's Tree Service came to save the day.

Chief McRoy said one tree technician used leg spikes to climb up the tree and place the stranded woman in a different harness while another employee helped lower her to the ground. She was back on the ground by 12:17 p.m.

Reports state the parachutist only received minor scrapes and did not require transportation to the hospital.

A tree technician climbed back up the tree and removed the red parachute.

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