Dylan Smith is only 19 but he has already etched out his spot in Kentucky sports lore as the male cheerleader who fell 44-feet to a certain death but saved his life with a variety of cheerleading moves. Um, and not to get all conspiracy/crazy/ironic theory on you guys, but this fall happened the same day Rangers fan fell to his death. This one reads like a Jackie Chan flipping-through-the-air and to safety flick.
The father of an award-winning cheerleader says his son’s training may be the only reason he’s still alive after falling four stories from the studio where he teaches Thursday.
Dylan Smith, 19, told his father he instinctively did a backflip in mid-air, which enabled him to land on his feet behind the old Harris Mill on Main Street. “He’s alive and it’s basically a miracle,” said Hugh Smith of North Smithfield. “He should be dead. It’s a 44-foot drop.”
As for how this could have happened…
Witnesses told police Smith was demonstrating a tumbling maneuver at Superior Cheers about 4:40 p.m. when he landed against a door that swings open into nothing but air – even though it’s four stories above the ground. The door may have once led to a fire escape that has been removed from the granite facade of the onetime factory building.
Detective Lt. Eugene Jalette said the door was closed, but the impact of Smith’s body was apparently enough to force it open, allowing him to fall through. “The door was closed,” said Jalette. “It was nailed shut, too.”
Smith landed on an expanse of weed-strewn, crumbling pavement near the Truman Bypass. Although he told police he didn’t remember striking the ground, rescue workers said he was conscious and alert all the way to the hospital.
Smith’s father said his son is in good spirits but he’s still undergoing tests at the hospital and “he’ll be here for a few days.”
Um, the kid left the hospital this week with a dislocated hip, a fractured pelvis, a spleen laceration and two collapsed lungs. From the look of his Facebook account, Dylan had just taken the tumbling coach position in May at Superior Cheer All-Stars.
A look at the Superior web site shows that the organization is located at 65 Main St. in Woonsocket. This is the building according to Google Maps.