As the day was winding down, Steve decided to go on one more jump with some of our friends. We had been jumping all day, so I decided to sit one out and just watch. As I heard the plane’s engines slowing down, so Steve and the others could exit, I began watching the sky and thinking about the beautiful day we had all spent together.
As we were all looking up, we could see that one of the jumpers was experiencing a malfunction with his main and reserve parachutes. Both failed to fully deploy and with two partial canopies out, it caused the jumper to start spinning. We were all gasping, knowing that it meant trouble. Everyone started shouting out names of those we knew on the plane so we could figure out who was in trouble. I believe my heart actually stopped beating for a minute when one of our friends looked at me and said, “Jen, that’s your husband.” I felt like a ton of bricks hit my chest, and I had trouble breathing.
Immediately, everyone started running across the field, jumping in cars with the goal of trying to get to him. West Tennessee Skydiving is located 13 miles from Somerville surrounded by farmland and woods. We were running through the woods trying to look for any sign of where he could have landed. I started hyperventilating, fearing what we would find. Eventually, several of us came to a clearing and there he was. Steve had landed in a harvested corn field about 20 feet from the edge of the woods. When I finally got to him, I was so relieved to hear him screaming out in pain because it meant he was alive!