The Florida paraglider whose dramatic 150-foot fall was caught on tape said he believes it’s a miracle that he’s alive today.
Damien LeRoy broke his back, femur, pelvis, three ribs and suffered a punctured lung after falling from his powered paraglider onto a beach near Ocean Cay Park in his hometown of Jupiter on July 11.
LeRoy, 34, said the glider’s engine temporarily stalled as he prepared to make a turn. The stalled engine sent the paraglider spinning and tangled its wires.
No longer able to steer the paraglider, LeRoy, a former world champion kitesurfer said his only option was to jump or risk being carried by the glider and crashing hard into nearby trees.
“There was this feeling that just said ‘there's a super soft bush right there, you should jump.’ And so I jumped and, right or wrong, it was the best decision I ever made for sure,” he said, speaking in an exclusive interview with ABC News.
Before the crash, things had been going well.
“It was just a perfect day to go do the sport that we love,” he said.
Beachgoer Andrew Volde caught the moment things went wrong on camera. In his video of LeRoy’s fall Volde can be heard yelling, "He's jumping, he's going to jump!"
LeRoy was airlifted from the beach to St. Mary's Medical Center. He spent one week in the hospital and underwent an operation on his femur.
“The reactions of the paramedics and the doctors and nurses at St. Mary's and prayers and love from all around the world was just another level. I think that's what saved me,” he said.
Despite the crash and painful recovery, LeRoy plans to paraglide again and still believes that people should live out their dreams.
Just prior to the paragliding accident, LeRoy had finished shooting a Hollywood stunt. He is featured in the opening sequence of the new "Baywatch" movie starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
He hopes his story will inspire others to “look at life in a positive way,” adding: “I think now is my big opportunity.”