Student lucky to be alive after parachute plunge

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A SOUTH Yorkshire student walked away from an out-of-control parachute plunge with just cuts and bruises after he crashed into a tree on his first jump from a plane.

Liam Byrne, from Doncaster, hit the tree at high speed when his parachutes became twisted, sending him spiralling out of control at 3,500 feet.

As Liam tried to open the first parachute it became tangled and he was told to pull the reserve via information from his radio headset.

But as he plunged towards the ground, the second chute also got knotted.

Narrowly missing a church roof and a spiked security fence, Liam crashed into the tree in the graveyard in Shotton Colliery, County Durham, on Saturday evening.

But he walked away with just cuts and bruises after firefighters took half an hour to bring him down.

The 18-year-old Northumbria University student said he was lucky he didn’t die.

Liam, who studies English Literature, said: “I have got a couple of bruises and scrapes but that’s it. It’s mad. I could have died. I didn’t realise how bad it was until I was brought down from the tree and I spoke to other people. ”

Liam’s dad Richard said: “I think skydiving is more of an appropriate word to use than parachuting! I couldn’t believe it.”