Parasailing Company Issues Statement After Freak Accident Leaves Teen Girls In Critical Condition

By: CBS, Posted by Chris Fisher
By: CBS, Posted by Chris Fisher

(CBS News) Two teenage girls were seriously hurt Monday in a freak parasailing accident in Panama City Beach, Fla.

Best friends Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good remain in critical condition after nearly losing their lives. The 17-year-old girls from Indiana were on vacation when the cord tethering their parasail snapped free in high winds, causing them to careen toward shore. A cell phone video captured their final, terrifying moments of flight. The pair smashed into the thirteenth-floor balcony of a condominium complex before colliding with nearby power lines, and finally crash-landing on a parked SUV below.

Both girls suffered severe cuts and head trauma and Fairchild has undergone spinal surgery.

One witness said of the fall, "We were yelling, 'Please miss the building, because I knew that if they slammed into it, because at the speed they were going, that it would be pretty traumatic."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has launched an investigation and said in a statement that a strong storm initiated problems that led to the crash.

Jeff Jones, the owner of the parasailing company, responded saying, "While we adhere to best practices to minimize the risks associated with water sport activities, sudden weather conditions can and do occur."

Both girls are expected to recover. Until then, all their families can do is wait for an explanation as to what caused such a scary accident.


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