Jul 9, 2010 3:33 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

ROTC cadet lost leg in AFA parachute accident

The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadet injured in a parachute jump at the Air Force Academy June 25 lost a leg in the accident, and is still hospitalized as a result of the incident. He is now listed in fair and stable condition.

Cadet Matthew Pirrello, 20, lost his right leg above the knee and suffered a double compound fracture in his left leg. Cadet Pirrello is a sophomore at Ohio University and was attending a summer parachute training program at the Academy. The AFA reports that Cadet Pirrello's name was previously withheld at his request.

Cadet Pirrello has begun rehabilitation and is focusing on recovery. His friends and family remain by his side.

"His recovery has been phenomenal thanks to the care he has received and his amazing spirit," said a family spokesperson. "Matt remains focused on his goal of serving in the Air Force. We would like to express our gratitude toward the Colorado Springs community and the Air Force Academy for their prayers and gracious support."

A safety board is investigating the accident.

Parachuting activity returned to normal at the Academy this week.


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