When you’re with a group of friends and there’s a massive waterslide that twists down a dangerous-looking hill at your disposal, then you’ve just got to try it, right? Well, perhaps not after you’ve read David Salmon’s story. Why? Because what started out as a joyride soon became Salmon’s worst nightmare.
Salmon’s last waterslide ride happened in July 2016. As many people do at that time of year, Salmon, who hails from Dallas, Texas, had decided to take a little vacation with a bunch of his friends.
This particular summer, the buddies checked into a cool holiday home that overlooks Lake Travis, near Austin. The dreaded waterslide was found in the backyard, and it was for the exclusive use of the residents of the swish holiday pad.
Of course, the invitation to try out a waterslide, especially with no need to wait in line, proved irresistible. And it started innocently enough: the friends took it in turns to ride it. But then Salmon’s turn came round again.
The vacationer jumped onto the slide and began speeding through the bends. It was, after all, one very quick ride. But as he approached a particularly sharp corner, something terrifying happened.
As he approached the bend, Salmon began to ride up the side. There was no way that he could stop, too, so he was flung over the side of the waterslide. Yes, the 200-pound thrill-seeker was airborne.
“I’d gone down a few times and it was fast,” Salmon later told Fox 4 News. “But this time, I just couldn’t slow down, even threw my arm out, and went right over the edge.”
As a result, Salmon plummeted down ten feet of rocky hillside. And, of course, he sustained some pretty nasty injuries in the fall. In fact, his left arm was broken, a few ribs were fractured, and he was left covered in scratches and bruises.
Salmon detailed the events that followed the fall for Fox 4 News. “After I fell, I was sitting straight up, like, ‘Oh! I can stand up. I can be fine,’” he said. “Then my body just couldn’t do anything. It was excruciating.”
Meanwhile, Salmon’s friends leapt into action and immediately attempted to rescue him. “Maneuvering up was really painful,” his buddy Matt Mazure told Fox 4 News. “There was a lot of screaming.”
Salmon was therefore rushed straight to hospital in Round Rock. Luckily, the hospital staff were able to patch him up, and there seemed to be no need for surgery. So while still in hospital, Salmon took to Facebook to share his crazy experience with his friends.
“Too dang old to be going down water slides,” he wrote. “Fell off this one that is over a rocky cliff. First time in an ambulance. I’m currently in the hospital in Round Rock.”
“Broke my arm and fractured ribs,” he continued. “Multiple lacerations on my back, arms and side. Just found out I don’t need surgery so that’s good news! One more night in Austin then I can go home to Dallas.”
Plus, perhaps unsurprisingly in this day and age, the whole shocking episode was captured on a cell phone. Salmon attached the video of the event to his Facebook comment, and the video quickly went viral. Indeed, after just a couple of weeks the video had been shared more than 2,000 times and received over 3.3 million views.
By then, however, Salmon had other things to worry about. “Found out today I need surgery on my arm,” he wrote on Facebook on 22 July. “They’re going to screw metal plates to my bone. Going to have an ugly scar.” Ouch.
Still, the surgery was performed without a hitch, and Salmon became the owner of a nice new metal plate. “Doctor said my arm is healing nicely!” Salmon wrote on Facebook on August 5, 2016.
But by then the guy’s story had been picked up by news organizations as far afield as New Zealand. In fact, it seemed like Salmon was going to be famous all across the globe.
“Mate, a friend here in Oz just shared the video with us and I was like… ‘hang on a sec, I know that bloke!’” wrote a friend of Salmon’s based in Australia. “Hope you’re on the mend mate, rough way to get famous!”
Unfortunately for Salmon, though, fame was never the aim. “I posted it so my friends could have a laugh or just know that I was ok,” he said. “I’m not one of those people who loves attention, I don’t want to be famous because of this freak accident.”
Poor guy; it seems like this is going to be a costly accident in more ways than one. As yet, however, he has refused to give any idea as to whether he’ll be seeking any compensation from the house’s owners. He will, though, probably be avoiding slides from now on.