Paramedics and support people load a Grafton school girl onto the Westpac Rescue Helicopter yesterday afternoon after a bad fal
Paramedics and support people load a Grafton school girl onto the Westpac Rescue Helicopter yesterday afternoon after a bad fal

Rugby claims victim



THE Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was called to the South Grafton High School late-afternoon yesterday to transport a 15-year-old girl who was believed to have broken her neck playing rugby at the school.

South Grafton High School year 10 student Rebecca Skinner was training with the injured player when the accident happened.

She said the girl was running with the ball when she was tackled by five players.

"We tackled her and she must have flipped down wrong on the ground," she said.

"She just fell down and stayed down. She wouldn't get back up. She told the other girls that she had hurt her neck.

We didn't want to move her so the teacher went to ring the ambulance."

A spokesman for the Department of Education and Training confirmed the incident just after 4.30pm last night. In a statement to the media, the department said the helicopter rescue service had been called to the school to assist a female student who had sustained a neck injury during sporting activities.

The Ambulance Service was contacted and they subsequently called for the Westpac helicopter.

A spokesperson for the rescue helicopter service said the student had sustained a broken neck and would be taken to the Princess Alexandria Hospital in Brisbane.

Spinal cord injuries to girls playing rugby were rare, and reports in the Medical Journal of Australia said there were no recorded incidents of such injuries to girls under the age of 18 between 1997 and 2002.



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