A Union College student is currently in critical condition after falling over 30 feet Wednesday night during an acrobatics practice.
The Journal Star, a local paper near the Lincoln, Nebraska-based Adventist institution, was the first to break the story in the early hours this morning. They reported that Lincoln Fire and Rescue crews responded to a call around 8 p.m. Wednesday night when it was reported someone had fallen from over thirty feet in the air.
The injured woman has been identified as a member of Union College’s Gymnaires team, an acrobatic gymnastic team who perform stunts closer to circus gymnastics and cheerleading than acrobatics, according to the team’s website. The Gymnaires travel through the Midwest and internationally, performing at churches and high schools.
The Journal Star reported that it was an equipment failure that caused the fall. The student had been practicing the suspended rope at the time of the accident and “landed partially on a mat below” according to an interview with Lincoln Police Capt. Bob Farber.
As of last night the woman was listed in critical condition.
Union College posted a notice on their website this morning, confirming that the student is still at the hospital, and that “Union College is doing everything possible to support the student’s family, friends and teammates.”
The gymnasium where the incident occurred has been closed and the college basketball games scheduled for Thursday have been cancelled.
“The safety of students is the top priority for Union College and administrators are cooperating with the authorities who are investigating the incident,” the report said. “Please keep this student, her family and all of Union College in your prayers at this time.”
Counseling services are available to her teammates and friends.
The 22-year-old was unnamed in the article, but friends and family of the victim have taken to Facebook to rally prayer and support, identifying her as Heather Boulais.
Union College’s ASB Facebook page posted this around eight this morning: “Prayer Service at CVC at 10:30 this morning. Please pray for our Union family today. United We Pray. #UnionUnited.”
The Union College Facebook Page posted this statement: “A member of the Union College gymnastic team was seriously injured last night during practice. The school family will be holding a prayer service in the sanctuary of the College View Church at 10:30 a.m. Please join us in prayer for this student wherever you are.”
The post has been shared 72 times as of publication.
The Clocktower, the official news outlet for Union College, posted this to their Facebook page: “Today, at 10:30 a.m., we will come together in prayer at CVC. Join us. United we pray. #UnionUnited”
“Our thoughts and prayers are going to the injured girl and the team,” said Union College spokesman Ryan Teller.
Rachel Logan is a writing intern for Spectrum Magazine.