The thrill of a new school year at Utah State University was marred by the death of a student who was killed in an accident on Old Main Hill on Monday afternoon.
USU Police Chief Steve Mecham said a 24-year-old West Jordan man was maneuvering his bicycle down the hill at about 5 p.m. He drove directly into a taut nylon slackline that was secured between two trees in a grassy area.
The man, identified Tuesday as music major Eric Scott Anderson, sustained upper-body trauma, Mecham said. Eyewitnesses said it appeared the line hit the man in his neck or head area.
The man, a returning USU student, was not immediately identified by police.
According to police scanner traffic, emergency personnel attempted lifesaving measures for about 20 minutes before the victim was transported to Logan Regional Hospital in full arrest. “Full arrest” is typically defined as not breathing and not having a heartbeat.
He was pronounced dead there, police confirmed at about 6:30 p.m.
The slackline had been set up by students on Old Main, according to USU spokesman Tim Vitale, but was not part of any officially sanctioned school event.
Mecham said approximately five or six students witnessed the accident. The university’s counseling center has been notified and is available to those students to help them cope with the tragedy, he said.
A movie was scheduled to be shown on the hill later that evening. The event was moved to the Taggart Student Center.