A California grandmother treats herself to a parachute jump to celebrate a landmark birthday ... and gets more of a thrill than she bargained for
The video: A year ago, a fearless Laverne Everett decided to celebrate her 80th birthday by going skydiving at the Parachute Center in Lodi, Calif. Her keepsake video, which Everett's sister only recently posted online, shows her bravely preparing for the jump, then losing her nerve when it comes time to step out of the plane. Everett clings to the door until her instructor, diving with her in tandem, tumbles out with Everett strapped to him with a harness. At least, that was the plan — before Everett immediately slips partially out of the harness, dangling helplessly as the instructor struggles to keep her from falling. (See the video below.) The videographer tries to soar to the rescue, reaching for Everett, before floating away as their parachute deploys. Finally, after an agonizingly long descent, Everett and her instructor land, dazed, as onlookers run to their aid.
The reaction: "Laverne Everett had the skydiving trip from hell," says Kiri Blakely at The Stir. The poor woman must have been "completely terrified her entire trip down." Well, it could have been worse, says The Huffington Post. Eight people have died in jumps with the Parachute Center in the last decade, most recently in April. Laverne was indeed lucky, says Ryan Drew at Yahoo News. Still, watching her "unbelievably frightening video," as she plunges toward Earth butt first, is enough to make the most enthusiastic thrill-seeker think twice. Tell that to Everett, say Suzan Clarke and Marisa Taylor at ABC News. She's already planning her next stunt: Riding in a race car. Watch the harrowing video for yourself:
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