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Freshman recovering after hiking accident

By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat
January 25, 1999
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A UA freshman was recovering at home yesterday after she was hit on the head with a football-sized rock Saturday during a hike in the Gates Pass area.

Kate Busby, an 18-year-old anthropology major, was released from Tucson Medical Center late Saturday with six stitches on her forehead, chipped teeth and bruises on the right side of her body.

"I'm sore and I have a lot of scrapes and bruises," Busby said. "For the most part, I'm a very lucky girl."

Busby was climbing and hiking with seven friends near the 7000 block of W. Gates Pass Road at about 6 p.m. when a rock struck her and sent her flying 10 feet, said Pima County Sheriff's Dept. Sgt. Brad Foust.

Busby said the rock was the size of her head, and she thinks the impact forced her to tumble into a cactus.

"I think I lost consciousness for a couple of minutes because I don't remember what was happening at that point," she said.

At that point, Busby said three friends went to call 911, the others stayed by her side.

"My friends were the reason I got down safely," Busby said yesterday.

Busby said they carried her about 600 yards away from the nearest parking lot, where officials began emergency care and later airlifted her to Tucson Medical Center.

Busby said she is doing "mentally well" and Foust said there will be no investigation since the incident did not appear criminal in nature.