PARKLAND (CBSMiami) — More than a year after Parkland teenager Teagan Marti survived a life-altering accident on a Wisconsin amusement ride, Marti took her first steps in public over the weekend while leading several dozen people who gathered at a park in her honor.
While leaning on a walker, 14-year-old Marti took about 20 steps at Pine Trails Park in Parkland, before she had to rest, according to the Sun Sentinel. She was surrounded by family and friends who donned yellow T-shirts promoting the Miracles for Teagan web site.
Marti’s story started July 30th, 2010, when she plummeted nearly ten stories on a drop ride known as Terminal Velocity in an amusement park just outside Wisconsin Dells.
The attraction, known as a suspended catch air device, lifts riders to the top of four raised towers, At the top, a ride operator unhooks the rider’s harness for a 10-story, back-first, free fall, which ends with the rider landing in a net suspended 40 feet above the ground. From there, the rider is slowly lowered to the ground and then the rider simply walks off the net.
On that day however, investigators said, the safety net was not in place.
At first, she was not expected to survive; then she was not expected to overcome paralysis and walk again.
Marti said in an interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench in August that her recovery “has been hard, very hard;” and she said the hardest thing about the past year has been her physical therapy.
The family reached a settlement with Extreme World Amusement last October but the details are confidential. The ride operator, Charles Carnell, 33, told police he “blanked out” and failed to confirm that a safety net was ready to catch Marti, according to the Lake Delton, Wisconsin police department. Carnell was charged with felony reckless injury.