Laverne Everett, 80-Year-Old Woman, Nearly Falls While Skydiving [Video]

NEW YORK | Sunday, May 27th, 2012 9:47am EDT

This birthday of Laverne Everett has become probably the worst of the 79 previous ones.

The octogenarian decided to celebrate her 80th last May, as she wanted to do something unusual for at least ten years.

So in 2011 for her birthday the woman decided to jump out of a plane, much to the surprise of her family.“They thought I was very brave,” said Laverne. “But, it’s just something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”

But the jump didn’t go as planned, and now her sister has posted the video to YouTube to share.

Before her terrible journey to the skies, Laverne says in the video that she’s excited about the jump, which took place at the Parachute Center in Lodi, Calif.

As The Huffington Post writes, when it’s time to take the plunge, she appears to be reluctant jump out of the plane, holding on to the sides of the aircraft. The man jumping with her finally frees her hands, and the duo tumbles.

Unfortunately, something went wrong early in the jump. And Laverne almost fell out of the harness, so her partner hung on to her for dear life.

“The upper harness came off, you know,” she said in a recent interview with CBS Sacramento. “Just slipped down, it was just the lower harness, is all I had.”

Fortunately, this story has a happy end as the parachute deployed and the pair successfully landed. The video ends with people on the ground rushing over to the aid of the Laverne and her partner.

“This happened a long time ago and everything worked as advertised,” Bill Dause, the owner of the Parachute Center, said in a statement. “No one got hurt or injured.”

In a separate call to the center, an employee who answered the phone said the video was a year old, but said he had no more information.

However, it is not the first case linked to the Parachute Center. CBS Sacramento found out that at least eight people have died at the Parachute Center in the last decade, most recently in April.

Some reports claim that the facility may have to pay $900,000 in fines to the FAA for incidents unrelated to Everett’s. In addition to it the company is facing at least three civil lawsuits.

According to the United States Parachute Association, Skydiving fatalities are on the decline these days. 21 fatal skydiving accidents were recorded in the United States in 2010. In 2009, 16 fatal accidents were recorded.

ABC News says that Nancy Koreen, a spokesperson for the association, revealed it looked as if Laverne’s harness wasn’t adjusted properly, and that she wasn’t positioned properly before the jump. “But that’s not at all a common occurrence,” she said. “It’s extremely, extremely rare.”

Koreen added that there have been two similar incidents of harness slippage, in which skydivers slipped out of their harnesses completely. Both took place about a decade ago, and afterwards harness manufacturers modified them to have an extra strap across the skydiver’s back.

“The USPA does everything that we can to reinforce proper training for instructors, constantly issuing reminders to make sure that instructors are properly adjusting their student harnesses to avoid any kind of situation where the students isn’t situated properly or comes loose,” Koreen said.

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