FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- A Federal Way man is recovering from what could have been a paralyzing accident involving a zipline.
Larry Snyder says he and his friends decided to build a homemade zipline while they were camping near Enumclaw last weekend.
"We just made it up, red-necking it, I guess," he laughed.
Saturday morning, the 44 year old decided to take one more turn, so his fiancee decided to record it on video.
"We'd been on it. The kids had been on it," Snyder said. "I just took one more step up and jumped, and when I jumped everything stretched out and once I hit that stretching point, the weakest point was the handle so it gave out.
When the handle breaks, the YouTube video shows Snyder falling 8 to 12 feet flat on his back. He can be heard moaning and gasping for breath.
"The sound is what kills me," Snyder says of the video. "The sound, the last breath. You can hear me losing my breath. It sounded like I was dying, and I felt like that because I never had the wind knocked out of me like that."
Once the video was uploaded to YouTube, Snyder realized how common zipline accidents are.
Last year in Redmond, a 12 year old boy died after accidentally hanging himself on the zipline at his home.
A trip to the emergency room revealed that Snyder had no broken bones, but a bruise across his lower back that looks just as painful. For a man who went through neck surgery three years ago, he realizes he got off lucky.
"I wouldn't recommend it," he said. "I wouldn't do it again that's for sure."
The Association for Challenge Course Technology, which helped establish standards for ziplines at venues across the country, advises people to use helmets and safety harnesses. It also warns people to make sure ziplines have been professionally installed.