A parasailing accident sent two young girls flying out of control after strong winds tore them away from the boat, but miraculously the two ended up surviving a crash into a parking lot.
The accident took place in Panama City, Florida, on Monday. The two 17-year-old friends from Indiana were caught in a strong wind brought on by a summer storm. Attempts to pull the two girls — Sidney Renea Good and Alexis Fairchild — were unsuccessful and their tandem harness sailed away with both still attached.
Video of the parasailing accident surfaced Tuesday, showing the girls flying away from the beach before crashing into a balcony, careening into another building, and hitting a power line. The two finally came to a stop when they crashed into an SUV in a parking lot. Their impact was so hard that it caved in the roof and front of the car.
“It was traumatic, it was hard. It was hard to watch, something you’ll never forget,” said a witness.
After the parasailing accident, friends of the girls raised more than $7,000 through a fundraising website.
The parents of the girls released a statement Wednesday about their condition, saying that both sustained head trauma and several lacerations.
“However, we are fortunately seeing some positive signs from both Sidney and Alexis,” they wrote. “Sidney has been responsive to caregivers and has been able to use small movements to communicate including a thumbs up for her parents. Alexis had surgery today on her spine and has also been responsive including a small wave at her parents when she returned from surgery.”
The parasailing accident also uncovered a spotty history for the parasailing company, Aquatic Adventures. An investigation found that the company has been involved in numerous negligence cases, including another accident similar to the one this week.