Bicycle-Slack Line Accident Claims Life of Utah State Student

According to KUTV CBS 2 in Salt Lake City, a Utah State University (USU) student was killed on August 26 when he hit a slack line tied between two trees on campus. The Spectrum.com reported that the accident happened around 5 p.m. The 24-year-old from the Salt Lake City suburb of West Jordan was riding down Old Main Hill when he ran into the slack line suspended about chest high.

Slack lining has been growing in popularity the last few years. It is similar to the high wire act performed at many circuses, except at a lower height. People tie a slack line between two objects, usually trees, and balance on it and walk across it for recreation. Many climbers use slack lining to practice their balance.

“Two slack lines were set up in grassy areas between trees on campus,” said Campus Police Chief Steve Mecham.

Most students were just finishing classes on the first day of the fall semester when the accident occurred. The bicyclist did not see the slack line until it was too late. Witnesses said that the line hit the student in the either the neck or the head. The 24-year-old was taken to Logan Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was a music major who played the trumpet and a member of the school’s marching band.

“He had a lot of friends from what I hear,” USU spokesperson Tim Vitale told the Deseret News. “He seems like an incredibly lively, dynamic, well-loved character. Our hearts go out to the family.”

Who set up the slack line? Was it approved by the university? Why was it left up? These are only a handful of the questions that need to be answered in the wake of this tragedy. A young man lost his life; his family deserves to know why, and if it was due to negligence, then they deserve to see those responsible brought to justice. It will not bring this young man back, but it may help prevent something like this from happening again in the future.

“It could have been anybody,” USU student Blake DeVries said. “I ride my bike all the time.”

If you or a loved one were in a bicycle accident or you lost a family member or friend because of the fatal injuries they suffered in a cycling wreck caused by someone else’s negligence, we may be able to help you. Please visit our site for more information, or contact our firm for a free consultation today at (858) 530-4800.

Did you know?: From 2005 to 2010, there were 819 bike crashes near the UC Berkeley campus.

Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego bicycle accident lawyer



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