SAN ANTONIO: Jordon Wallenda, of the famous stunt clan the Flying Wallendas, was seriously injured yesterday after answering his phone while attempting a high-wire crossing over the Paseo del Río.
The 16-year-old great grandson of Karl Wallenda was about halfway across a 120 ft. high-wire suspended between two downtown buildings facing the city’s famous River Walk, when he answered his iPhone, strode a few steps, and then completely missed the wire, falling into the river.
From a hospital where he is recovering from a broken hip and concussion, Jordon admitted that he had been alerted to a Twitter live stream — of himself crossing the wire. Essentially, a remote selfie. “I should have realized something was wrong,” he said. “But that video of me slipping and tumbling was so bitchin’, I couldn’t stop watching. It’s got 6000 views already!”
San Antonio Fire Department chief Arturo Hernandez says such river accidents are not uncommon: “Every week, we fish out a few floaters who’ve fallen in and drowned,” he said. “In the old days, it was drunks. Now it’s phone addicts. Their bodies drift past the sidewalk cafes and bars, really bloated in the summer heat. It used to be shocking, now it’s ‘ho-hum, seen it before.’”
Jason Verdink, president of the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures, says he’s seeing the same type of accidents on movie sets. He adds: “I would caution all stuntmen, circus performers and the like — learn to multitask by keeping at least one eye on reality while answering your phones during a performance. If you’re doing a selfie, maintain situational awareness by keeping substantial background in the picture frame.”