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Kentucky cheerleader falls 44 feet, survives to tell the tale

Jul 15, 2011, 10:35 AM EDT

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Normally, when I hear that someone has fallen 44 feet from a building, I’m going to assume that they did not live to talk about it but 19-year old Dylan Smith survived it.

Smith was teaching a gymnastics course at a local Rhode Island school and accidentally lost his balance and then fell nearly four stories. How did Dylan survive? His University of Kentucky cheerleader training kicked in:

Dylan Smith had been tumbling when “he kinda lost his balance” at the end of a series of moves and landed against a door that had been nailed shut, his father, Hugh Smith, said in a telephone interview.

The door, on the fourth or fifth floor of the building, led only to open air. It gave way, and Dylan Smith fell out backward, Hugh Smith said. He said his son’s tumbling instincts kicked in and he turned a back flip during the fall, bringing his knees to his chest as he tried “to find the ground.” He said Dylan Smith landed on his feet and then lost consciousness.

For those of you thinking that he survived without a scratch, here is the list of his injuries: dislocated hip, a fractured pelvis, two collapsed lungs and a laceration to his spleen. Thankfully, he survived and is recovering at a Rhode Island hospital.

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University of Kentucky cheerleader falls 44 feet, lands on feet [Kentucky.com]