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Utah State University student hospitalized after 80s dance cancellation

By Ben Nielsen
benielsen.weebly.com

A dance party at the Aggie Flats apartment complex on Sept. 4 resulted in one student being hospitalized for a head injury.

Heavy wind and lightning warnings led to the cancellation of the 1980s-themed dance, which was to be held by Utah State University, only minutes before it was scheduled to start. This left hundreds of brightly-clad and costumed students with nowhere to dance, including Tess Campbell and her friends.

Campbell, a freshman at Utah State University and resident of the Aggie Flats apartment complex, was taken to the hospital after a dance party broke out in the Aggie Flats parking lot. Campbell was crowd surfing when she was dropped headfirst onto the asphalt.

According to her own account, Campbell was taken to the Logan Regional Hospital where it was discovered that she’d damaged the frontal lobe of her brain and had internal bleeding. She was then transported to the University of Utah Hospital to be treated. She is currently undergoing therapy while recovering at her home in Riverton and said she expects to return to Logan in the next three weeks.

Wayne Skabelund and Daniel Romo, both students at USU and residents of Aggie Flats, took matters into their own hands after the university-sponsored dance was canceled. They began to play songs in the parking lot using a truck stereo system as their source of music, and as other students began to spread the word about the “dance party at Aggie Flats,” more people began to flood in.

Flats resident Terran Maynard was one of those who got word about the event. When he showed up and found a number of students already dancing in the parking lot, he said that he decided to set up a system and began playing music from his own laptop.

He didn’t expect so many students to show up, though. Soon the Aggie Flats parking lot resembled a nightclub.

“It was crazy to look out across the parking lot and see it packed all the way to Kampus Korner,” Maynard said.

With the event being so sudden, there hadn’t been time for any of the residents to move their vehicles out of the parking lot. Students were socializing and dancing in, around, and even on top of the parked cars. Maynard, as the self-elected DJ, decided to take some of the responsibility on himself.

“Whenever anyone was behaving inappropriately, like jumping on cars or trying to mosh, we’d stop the music and ask them to stop,” he said. Eventually students dispersed after the arrival of the Logan Police at 10:47 p.m.

Campbell’s green VW Beetle was among the crowd during the dance. While not seriously damaged, the front of the roof was dented in from dancers who’d climbed aboard. It was during this turmoil that Campbell got dropped while crowd surfing and hit her head on the parking lot.

“I woke up and for a few seconds I couldn’t feel my legs,” she said. “But after around 30 seconds I started feeling them again.”

After answering some memory-related questions at the Logan Hospital, she was told by the staff that there were no serious injuries. However, after a CT scan, it was determined that she had damaged her frontal lobe and was bleeding internally. She was immediately taken to the University of Utah’s Neurology Clinic to be treated.

“I have some great friends. They took care of me,” Campbell said. She is now undergoing occupational, physical and speech therapy while recovering in Riverton for the next few weeks.

Because of her long recovery time, Campbell had to drop most of her courses at USU.

Despite her misfortune, Campbell remains upbeat about the situation

“My first two weeks at college and I already have brain damage,” she said. “Next semester I’m shooting for three weeks!”

Campbell is expected to make a full recovery.

-mdl