PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The city’s first-ever flugtag event was, for many, the highlight of the Three Rivers Regatta. While it was a big hit that brought big crowds to the city, there was one minor hiccup.
One of the participants was hurt when his jump off of the 22-foot high platform didn’t go as planned.
Walt Czekaj and his team built a skateboard flugtag out of one-by-fours, plywood and shingles.
Thing is, when Czekaj came down, he was supposed to jump clear of the board and just hit the water, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
“The board dropped faster than I thought it would,” said Czekaj. “When I tried to jump off of it, the board was no longer there, went right under my path. I was about five-feet above it, and I looked down and just thought, ‘Well, this is going to hurt.’”
Czekaj hit the board instead of the river.
“I got knocked out, or I lost consciousness. I remember being about five-feet above it, and that was the last thing I remember,” said Czekaj. “I landed on the board, so it kept me from being in the water.”
Emergency crews were standing by in the water and pulled Czekaj to safety. He was rushed to the hospital with injuries from head to toe.
“Mainly, it’s my hand, my ribs, my leg, and I guess my face too. In the grand scheme of things, the face is pretty mild,” Czekaj said.
“I got four stitches in my hand and 14 in my leg. It was probably an inch and a quarter wide and three quarters of an inch deep. It was tough,” said Czekaj. “Whenever I hit, either I broke the craft or the craft broke when it hit the water and exposed a screw. Then, the screw poked through my jeans and moved through my jeans and tore through my leg.”
Besides the large gash on his leg, Czekaj, fortunately, didn’t have any broken bones or internal bleeding. After four hours in the hospital, he was released and back at work by Monday.
“I’m in not the best shape, but I am very fortunate,” Czekaj said.