PANAMA CITY BEACH - The two teenage girls critically injured in a parasailing accident are showing some positive signs.
17-year-olds Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good, from Indiana, were parasailing during a storm Monday afternoon in Panama City Beach when their tow rope broke free. The girls hit the side of a condo, power lines and several cars on their way down.
According to their families, Alexis and Sidney sustained head trauma and lacerations and both are still in critical condition at Bay Medical Center/Sacred Heart. But there are some positive signs.
Alexis, who also suffered severe back injuries, had surgery Wednesday on her spine. Afterwards, she was able to wave at her parents.
Sidney has neck trauma, but has been able to use small movements to communicate, including a thumbs up for her parents.
In a written statement released late Wednesday afternoon, the girls’ parents stated:
"Our families are incredibly touched by all the support we've received from friends at home and from many people we haven't met before who are praying for our girls.
While the situation is still critical, we are encouraged by these very small signs of progress.
We have heard from so many generous people who have offered to help and we are working to establish a fund for the medical care of both Sidney and Alexis. We will have more information on that to come.
Thank you again to all who are thinking of and praying for our girls. Your prayers are working!”
New Channel 7 did some digging into the parasailing company at the center of the investigation. We learned Aquatic Adventure has been involved in at least three negligent cases over the past few years.
One case involved a victim being run over by a jet-ski. The company reached a $650,000 settlement with that victim.
Another case is eerily similar to the parasailing accident that critically injured Alexis and Sidney. It also involves two teenagers from Indiana and the tow cable coming loose. The only difference, the teenagers in 2009 case landed in the water.
No word yet whether Aquatic Adventures will face any charges in this latest incident. But they have released a statement.
"The events of July 1, 2013 were tragic. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of the injured girls and we all pray for their speedy recovery.
While we adhere to best practices to minimize the risks associated with water sport activities, sudden weather conditions can and do occur. As a full investigation in on-going, we are unable to comment further at this time.”