ABC News’ Matt Gutman and Seniboye Tienabeso report:
Jeff Davis took his daughter, Emily, and her brother, Zack, to a Florida Marlin’s baseball game on Saturday. Then they went to a rock-climbing wall outside the stadium.
That’s when things took a horrifying turn. Emily, 11, climbed 18 feet up the wall, then suddenly fell. Her safety harness went completely slack, and she plummeted to the ground.
Davis had been recording the moment on his cellphone camera, but when his daughter fell, he dropped the camera and sprinted to her side.
“I just wanted to know she was breathing,” he told “Good Morning America” in an interview on Monday.
Davis said he heard Emily’s head go “smack,” he said.
The dropped phone continued to record, and the girl could be heard whimpering as she regained consciousness.
Emily, who suffered a concussion, was recuperating yesterday at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
“I don’t remember falling, or the ambulance ride,” the girl said. “I remember telling my dad it was a dream, wake up.”
Asked whether she would ever go rock-climbing again, Emily replied: “If I have a helmet on I guess?”
The Marlins organization immediately closed the rock-climbing attraction and is investigating the incident.
Emily’s accident is far from rare. In 2010, a Consumer Protection and Safety Administration study found that as many as 1,082 children between the ages of 2 and 18 were seriously hurt while rock-climbing.
Harness failures, though, are rare.
Rock Wall-Climbing Tips:
- Never climb higher than you’re supposed to.
- Use proper equipment.
- Have a spotter.
- Make sure there’s a mat beneath you in case you fall.