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Lexington skydiver seriously injured

A professional skydiver from Lexington is hospitalized in Ohio after a crash landing last weekend.

Justin Hammons, 29, was skydiving with friends in Middletown, Ohio, on Saturday afternoon when he misjudged his altitude and hit the ground at 40 to 50 mph, said his friend Dan Paganini, who witnessed the accident.

"He was just doing a routine high performance landing," Paganini said. "He was parking the car, and he screwed up.

"It was a bad impact."

He said Hammons' parachute was open and his equipment was functioning normally.

Paganini and Hammons are both members of Team Fastrax, a demonstration skydiving team that has made jumps all over the country and internationally. The group is based at the Middletown Regional Airport and affiliated with the skydiving outfit Start Skydiving.

Paganini said Hammons, who works as a computer consultant, has made more than 2,000 jumps in the six years he's been skydiving.

Before that, he was a pilot who performed aeronautical acrobatics in his airplane.

Hammons was listed in serious condition Monday night at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

He has multiple broken bones and dislocations and is being kept heavily sedated, Paganini said.

Friends were posting get-well wishes and updates on a Facebook page called "Prayers for Justin Hammons."

A fund has been set up on his behalf at U.S. Bank, and a skydiving event in Ohio is being planned to raise money to help with his care.

Paganini said he has no doubt that his friend will have a parachute strapped to his back again as soon as he's well enough.

"He will be jumping again," Paganini said. "He will be chomping at the bit and trying to cut the cast off his leg with a plastic fork."

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