A skydiving Santa looking to make a grand entrance while taking an Elf on the Shelf to a 9-year-old girl crashed into a tree and light pole on Gulfport Beach and breaking his leg.
The video has been viewed millions of times, all around the world.
Gerard Krokus, now known as “Skydiving Santa,” was on a mission to deliver toys to the Tampa Bay Beach Bums Operation Santa Charity Volleyball Tournament on Saturday afternoon.
“Unfortunately, we had some kids see something that we wished they wouldn't of,” says Dominic Nelson with the Tampa Bay Beach Bums.
Nelson says the stunt had been well-thought out. Krokus is an expert skydiver, with more than 500 jumps under his belt.
He says this was just a freak accident.
“There had been pre-visits and plans. There was involvement with the FAA to get approval. It wasn't expected to have ramifications,” says Nelson.
Madison Spiers saw the crash and later found a note from the “elf” named Kristoff who visits her house during the holidays. It said, “As we were about to land this big tree jumped right out in front of us!”
Kristoff was also injured -- he is sporting a bandage on his leg.
“He got permission from Santa to jump with them and was going to be delivered as he landed,” says Nelson.
As you can see, Krokus was in good spirits after the accident. But now medical bills are piling up, costing over $12,000.
He not only broke his leg but also had parts of the tree tear into his thigh.
Nelson started a GoFundMe account, which has raised a few thousand dollars.
“I don't want this already tragic accident to be a burden on him for the rest of his life,” he says.
Gerard is expected to get discharged from the hospital sometime this week.
His message to those wanting to skydive is to try it out and not let this video scare them.
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