Skydiving Incident Leaves Sandpoint Man with Serious Spinal Injuries

On May 27th, during a skydiving event to honor fallen soldiers in Washington State, a Sandpoint man suffered serious injuries resulting in multiple fractures to his spine. Tim Smith was performing a flag jump on Memorial Day when an unfortunate incident led to a tragic accident.

Smith, an experienced skydiver, was carrying a 15-pound sandbag and a flag when he unexpectedly lost control of his equipment just before landing. Smith admitted to briefly losing grip of his left toggle due to the additional burden of the flag, causing an imbalance in control during his descent. This error in judgment resulted in a hard, asymmetrical landing on a day with no wind to cushion the impact.

Although Smith initially believed he was unharmed, the impact of hitting the ground at high speed led to a burst fracture in his T-12 vertebrae, a spinal hematoma, a sprained thumb, and multiple fragments impacting his spinal column. Despite the gravity of his injuries, Smith managed to walk away from the drop zone with assistance, only to realize later the severity of his condition.

Following his accident, Smith underwent surgery and has since been recovering at home, expressing optimism about his prognosis and determination to make a full recovery. He conveyed his intention to share a detailed account of the accident through a forthcoming video, emphasizing the interest of safety and learning from his experience.

Source: Bonner County Daily Bee

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