A California amputee was able to joke that he'd now lost two legs skydiving after authorities discovered the man's $15,000 prosthetic limb -- which had detached and tumbled to earth during an otherwise successful Sunday jump.
Dion Callaway, who had his leg amputated after a skydiving accident two years ago, told the Press Democrat that, once he'd landed after a 10,000-foot plunge, he spent hours searching for the prosthesis to no avail.
“I’ve jumped with the prosthetic before, but a rush of air got inside this time and it just flew off,” Callaway said Monday. “I tried to watch where it was falling, but I was so overwhelmed in that moment I could not keep track.”
The limb was eventually recovered at the nearby Cloverdale lumberyard.
Micah Smith, the lumberyard’s production manager, told the newspaper that a worker spotted the prosthesis -- but mistook it for a soda can.
“Oh, that’s not a soda can, that’s a leg,” Smith recalled thinking when he took a closer look at the object. “It was a nice looking Nike [shoe].”
That report brought out a deputy with the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, and authorities then set out to find the owner -- even posting a "classified" ad on social media: "Missing a leg?"
The deputy eventually contacted people at the nearby airport in hopes of finding the leg’s owner and workers there quickly hooked officials up with Callaway.
Callaway was reunited with his prosthetic leg on Monday and noted it was “in perfect shape — survived 10,000 feet.”
"[Callaway] promises to make a tether and learn from this but fully plans to stick with his passion. Good luck Dion!! Great spirit!!!" the sheriff's office wrote in a Facebook post.
Callaway told the newspaper that he shattered his heel two years ago after he landed on the ground at a high speed. He went through a year of physical therapy before opting to amputate his leg below the knee.
“Skydiving is my everything and the people I do it with are my family,” Callaway said. “I always seem to come back to it.”