A 24-year-old Utah State University student died Monday afternoon from injuries he received after running into a slackline on his bicycle while traveling down a steep hill, campus police said.
USU Police Chief Steve Mecham said 911 dispatchers received a call at 4:58 p.m., about the incident on USU's Old Main Hill – a steep, tree-dotted slope on the west edge of campus.
Mecham said the cyclist was traveling westbound down the grassy hill when he impacted the tensioned line anchored between two large trees.
“A group of students had set up a slackline in this area and another student riding a bicycle came down through the grass down the hill, did not see the slackline, ran into the slackline and was seriously injured,” he said.
Police say they're withholding the name of the West Jordan student until family members have been notified.
First responders included patrolmen from the Logan Police Department and Utah Highway Patrol who initiated first aid.
“The student was treated at the scene and eventually taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead,” Mecham added.
Two slacklines had been set up at the site of the incident. Mecham said one was positioned at a lower level. A second line was mounted at approximately chest level. Mecham said the cyclist struck the higher slackline but declined to offer additional detail about where the line struck the cyclist.
The incident occurred just hours after most students were finishing classes on the first day of the fall semester.
“It is indeed a tragedy,” said Mecham “We're sad for the family; we're sad for the young man; we're sad for the students who were here slacklining. It's a just a tragic accident. We have counseling available for the students and hopefully they'll avail themselves of that opportunity.”
Slacklining is balance exercise in which participants walk across a length of nylon webbing tensioned between two anchor points.