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Utah State University students, officials are sued in death of bicyclist who hit slackline

Published May 1, 2014 7:48 pm

Courts • Two students who set up slacklines are also target of lawsuit.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Several officials and students at Utah State University have been sued in connection with a fatal crash involving a bicyclist and a slackline hung on Old Main Hill.

Eric Anderson, 24, was riding his bicycle down the hill Aug. 26, about an hour after three students had tied two slacklines to three trees on the hill, according to a lawsuit filed by Anderson's family on Wednesday in 3rd District Court.

The higher slackline was about 52 inches off the ground and was difficult to see if viewed at eye level, the suit claims. The students who set up the slackline were not using it, but were standing apart from the line and were talking to each other, the suit alleges.

Anderson drove into the slackline, which severed his trachea, the suit states. Anderson could not breathe and died about two hours later, the lawsuit claims.

The three students who set up the slacklines "had a duty not to create an unreasonable danger to others," and university officials should have recognized the hazard of students slacklining in an area used by cyclists, the suit states.

Anderson's parents, Carver and Gayle Anderson, are suing the slacklining students and the university employees for $2 million each.