Skydiving instructor breaks bones after rescuing student mid-fall

JAMUL, Calif. —  A skydiving instructor is recovering from a broken leg and ankle she injured during a landing in Jamul, California, on Sunday. The instructor, a young woman, had helped a student skydiver safely land after she lost control during freefall.

"Essentially, she saved her life," Greg Lund, the general manager at Skydive San Diego, told KSWB.

According to Lund, the student was doing her first ever jump — an “accelerated freefall” jump with two instructors. At some point, the student started spinning and the closest instructor went in and got a hold of her.

“If they’re altitude aware, they will pull (the parachute) at a designated altitude which is 5,000 feet and if it’s below that the instructor’s job is to go ahead and deploy that parachute for the student to make sure they get a good parachute deployed over their head," said Lund.

The student’s parachute deployed around 2,500 feet and she safely landed in the drop zone.

“Her focus was to save that student’s life – kudos to her because that’s exactly what she did. Then, she had to focus on saving her own life at that point," said Lund.

The instructor’s parachute deployed at only 1,500 feet, according to Lund.

“It’s low. There’s not a lot of time for anything other than to get a parachute out and to land," said Lund.

The instructor made a hard landing on the rugged hillside about a quarter mile away and was airlifted to Scripps Mercy Hospital.

“Could have easily gone another way had the instructor not done her job," Lund said.