(KFOR/CNN) - A 16-year-old Texas girl was recovering Wednesday from a near-fatal skydiving accident.
Mackenzie Wethington remained in a hospital near Chickasha, OK. She wanted to celebrate her birthday by going on a skydiving adventure with her father, Joe Wethington, at Pegasus Air Sport.
She jumped from 3,500 feet. Her dad said as he watched from the ground, he saw her parachute didn't fully open and she started to spiral down.
"The guy on the radio on the ground is trying to talk her out of what's going on and telling her what to do and she can't do it," Joe Wethington said.
The injuries left her fighting for her life - a broken vertebrae, pelvis and internal bleeding - but she was not paralyzed.
The U.S. Parachute Association said someone making their first jump alone was a common thing. The association's affiliated skydiving schools, like Pegasus Air Sport, set the minimum age at 16 with a parent's consent.
Mackenzie performed a "static line jump" - a cord connects the diver's chute to an airplane. As the diver falls, the line snaps and opens the chute.
The owner of Pegasus Air Sports said he suspected Mackenzie did not follow the training guidelines properly.
"The parachute appeared to open OK. Soon after opening, the parachute started to rotate, there are a number of technical reasons why that could have happened possibly caused by the jumper herself. The jumper didn't sort out the rotation in accordance with the training she received earlier and continued to rotate down to the ground and hurt herself."
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