An Arkansas student impaled by a flying golf club is lucky to be alive, and how the accident happened is being described as freakish.
Natalie Eaton, 18, who attends Arkansas State University, was attending a cookout at a college fraternity house on Tuesday when she was seriously injured, according to Arkansas Matters on the frat house accident.
Witnesses say the college freshman was at the Kappa Alpha house on campus going about her business when an unnamed student threw a ball to another student, who took a swing at it with a golf club instead of a bat. When the club connected to the ball, it broke apart and parts of it flew as far as 30 feet away and impaled the student in her neck.
Paramedics were immediately called and arrived moments later. Eaton was then transported to a local hospital in Arkansas, and later airlifted to a trauma center in Tennessee for advanced critical care.
“Rush” was going on at ASU at the time the college student was injured by the golf club. Young Adults defines the term often used to refer to recruitment of pledges for Greek life.
“Rush a series of social events and gatherings that allow prospective and current fraternity or sorority members to get to know each other. At the end of rush, Greek houses offer ‘bids’ to the students they think are the best fits for membership.”
One of Eaton’s friends, Makaleigh Riddle, said there are concerns the student would be paralyzed after being impaled in the neck by the golf club. However, doctors are hopeful she will recover because there have been signs of voluntary limb movement.
“Where the club went in, it hit her spinal cord. The way [doctors] talked about it, it was probably paralysis. That was the best that we were looking at. It was really hard to hear. But now she’s moving her arms and legs a day later… That’s just crazy. I know people are praying everywhere but that’s a miracle. She’s the strongest person I’ve ever met so that doesn’t surprise me at all.”
ASU released a statement after the student’s injury at the campus fraternity house. In addition, school officials moved quickly to address the stress family and friends suffered as a result of the traumatic accident by making a team of counselors available.
There is no mention that hazing was going on at the time of the student’s impalement, but given the focus on several news stories involving the controversial pledging ritual, authorities will likely include it as part of their investigation.
However, based on information gathered and released so far, it seems as though the incident involving the student impaled by a golf club was an accident. Meanwhile, daily vigils began after the news spread of the university tragedy.
Stay tuned for more news to come regarding this developing story out of Arkansas.
[Image via: Twitter]