Officials Investigate UC Merced Accident

8/25/2008 Merced, CA, USA University officials say 18 year old Sydney Hickman had been drinking with friends when she climbed a stairway banister and tried to slide down. Her friend told Action News she fell over the side, hit her head, and fell on some bushes.

She was conscious when she was taken by helicopter to the hospital.

Patti Waid Istas, U.C. Merced spokesperson, says "It's apparent it was related to alcohol and that's unfortunate because we work with students in the first month of school to remind them of the dangers of alcohol and drug use."

The student has been released from the hospital.

Campus officials say she went home to Fresno, but she's expected to be back on the UC Merced campus on Tuesday.

In March of 2007, a UC Merced student died on campus when he fell and hit his head on concrete. The university says 18 year old Hector Barrera-Barraza had also been drinking before the accident.


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