Teenager survives 3,000ft
solo skydiving disaster

Liam Byrne (left), 18, who escaped with minor injuries after crash landing in a tree during a parachute jump.
Liam Byrne (left), 18, who escaped with minor injuries after crash landing in a tree during a parachute jump.

A DONCASTER student who crash landed into a tree after complications during a 3,000ft parachute jump has spoken about his near-death experience.

Lucky Liam Byrne, 18, of Butten Meadow, Austerfield, miraculously escaped with just cuts and bruises after becoming entangled in the parachute during his first ever sky diving experience.

Liam narrowly missed a church graveyard and metal fence as he plummeted to the ground during his first ever solo parachute jump.

Speaking to the Free Press, Liam, who is currently studying English Literature at Northumbria University, said: “I don’t think it’s really sunk in how bad things could’ve been.

“It all happened so quickly, I had no control, I didn’t really realise what was happening, it was only when I saw everyone’s face who had watched me and spoke to them that I realised how bad it was and that I was lucky to be here.”

But the plucky student has vowed to give it another go and is already planning another jump.

“This was something that I really wanted to get into so I think the best thing to do is get straight back on it, nothing like this can happen to me again, surely, well at least I hope not.”

Liam had recently joined the Northumbria University Parachute Club and was jumping at the Peterlee Parachute Centre in County Durham when the incident happened on Saturday.

The student described how the chute deployed automatically but got entangled in his arm and then, after instructors used a radio to tell him to deploy his second chute, that got tangled up with the first.

Liam performed the emergency procedures and tried to get rid of the main parachute but could not regain control.

He added: “Both parachutes were open but only one had inflated and was tangled, I was spinning out of control.”

Ian Rosenvinge, who runs the Peterlee Parachute Centre said that Mr Byrne had done a six to eight-hour training course before the jump but had failed to adopt the arched position he needed to be in to move away from the parachute causing him to get tangled in it.

He added: “We are very pleased that he escaped with minor injures, he is very lucky, it is extremely rare for incidents like this to occur

“Credit to him that he wants to give it another go.”