In October of last year, Jonathan Goodwin prepared for a typical day at the office. Rather than checking his email or opening a fresh document, however, Jonathan Goodwin allowed an America’s Got Talent employee to restrain him in a straitjacket, then suspend him upside down between two spring-loaded cars.
It wasn’t anything unusual for the professional stuntman, whose career regularly involved placing himself inches from death. This particular stunt, however, would be his last.
Unbeknown to Goodwin or any of the America’s Got Talent staff, the timing of the stunt was off. And when dealing with life-threatening situations, every millisecond counts. The cars on either side of the escape artist were released before Goodwin had escaped from his straitjacket and fell to the safety of the airbag below.
Instead of crashing into each other, the flaming cars smashed into Jonathan Goodwin, who then plummeted 30 feet to the ground. The botched stunt almost took Goodwin’s life. And though he survived, he suffered horrific, life-altering injuries.
In addition to third-degree burns, two broken shoulder blades, two shattered legs, and the loss of a kidney, Jonathan Goodwin also broke his spine and severed his spinal cord. The hospital staff did the best they could, but a severed spinal cord is irreversible. Goodwin is paralyzed and will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
OSHA Shares Findings From ‘America’s Got Talent’ Investigation
Unsurprisingly, the terrifying event caused an immediate OSHA investigation. In a statement given to The Sun, the Department of Labor’s occupational safety division shared its findings. “OSHA has completed the investigation into this horrific incident involving Marathon Productions, Inc. and issued a citation on April 13, 2022, for two Serious violations,” the organization explained.
“An employee was exposed to a fall hazard of approximately 30-feet to ground level. The employer did not ensure an adequately sized airbag or (safety net) was used and correctly positioned to protect the employee from contacting the lower ground level.”
After four months in the hospital, Jonathan Goodwin was finally healthy enough to return home. In a recent Instagram story, he explained his lingering injuries. According to Goodwin, his “paralysis starts around the hip height”. He added that the paralysis is considered permanent because of his severed spinal cord.
Despite life-threatening injuries that no doubt caused excruciating pain, Jonathan Goodwin has maintained a positive attitude from the very beginning. And even though he’ll likely never walk again, Goodwin is still looking on the bright side. “I’m me, but just sitting down,” he said.