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Skydiver who filmed himself crashing to earth shares 'oh s***' moment he realized things went wrong

Gregory Robinson

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Skydiver who filmed himself crashing to earth shares 'oh s***' moment he realized things went wrong

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

An avid skydiver captured the terrifying moment he smashed into the ground and broke his spine while taking part in a 'deadly' stunt. Watch his footage below:

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Josh Poly suffered three spinal fractures and snapped his tailbone in half after the crash landing in October 2020.

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He was skydiving with friends near his home at the time in Los Gatos, California when the freak incident took place.

"It was the very first jump of the day, there was no wind really so you're going to be flying in to land a lot faster - usually you want a little bit of a headwind to slow you down a bit," he recalled.

Poly, from San Jose, California, admits that he misjudged his altitude as he was coming in to land.

The 33-year-old said that he was trying a more advanced 'swooping' maneuver when a series of mistakes resulted in him smashing into the ground and being thrown into a 'washing-machine-cycle-like' tumble.

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"I had been swooping where the idea is to speed up your parachute, maneuver a turn and then as you're coming in you try to glide close to the ground - when you start getting into that it can be a lot more dangerous.

"I misjudged the altitude slightly - I checked on the video and I was about 100 feet lower than I thought I was - so when I started this maneuver I was already low and out of position.

The freak accident happened in October 2020. Credit: Kennedy News & Media
The freak accident happened in October 2020. Credit: Kennedy News & Media

"As I was turning into my final landing turn I was coming in really fast and I saw how close the ground was and that was my 'oh sh**' moment."

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He also didn't test out new gloves before he went skydiving either, which meant that he struggled to steer his parachute as normal.

"I reached up for my risers to try and level my parachute out but I also had some gloves on that I had never jumped with so I couldn't feel my toggles as much as I could've," he said.

"I tried to pull down on them and that just didn't do anything, the parachute was still diving very steeply at the ground. I barely had any time to react.

"Before I knew it I hit the ground and it was like a washing machine cycle after that - just tumbling and tumbling."

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The terrifying moment was captured on film. Credit: Kennedy News & Media
The terrifying moment was captured on film. Credit: Kennedy News & Media

He hit the ground feet first, followed by his buttocks before 'tumbling', shredding his clothes and battering his body against the rough terrain.

"I didn't know how bad it was at first. The pain didn't really come in until later on because of the adrenaline and shock of it all."

He was rushed to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital in Hollister for a CAT scan, which revealed that he had compressed the L3 and 5 vertebrae and 'burst' the L4 vertebrae in his spine with multiple fractures, in addition to his tailbone injury and splintering parts of his ankle bones off.

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He was later transferred to Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto via medical helicopter.

But, despite his injuries, he was sent home from hospital the same day and made a full recovery just four months later without the need for surgery.

He was given a wheelchair, back brace and doughnut cushion for his painful tailbone break.

Poly has made a full recovery without surgery. Credit: Kennedy News & Media
Poly has made a full recovery without surgery. Credit: Kennedy News & Media

Poly, who works in a factory, is sharing the shocking footage to warn other new skydivers to take extra care and progress slowly.

But, even after his incident, he's gone back to skydiving.

"I was really lucky because I've had x-rays taken of my spine since and the nerves in my spinal cord are so close to where those breaks are - the doctor didn't know I didn't have nerve pain."

Topics: Community, Life

Gregory Robinson
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