Falling tree lands on college student during ‘sudden’ rainstorm on campus, UGA says

A student is recovering after a freak accident on the University of Georgia’s campus, school officials say.

Mia Wei Corte, 20, was seriously injured by a falling tree Tuesday, May 9, a university spokesperson told McClatchy News in a statement. It happened as a “sudden and intense” storm rolled through the Athens campus, toppling the tree.

“High winds reached 64 mph, uprooting a tree on East Campus at Field Street,” Greg Trevor, UGA’s associate vice president, said in the statement. “The uprooted tree struck Ms. Corte, causing serious injuries.”

She suffered severe injuries to her head and body, the Athens Banner-Herald and WAGA reported. She was taken to a hospital and remained in critical condition as of May 12.

“Our thoughts are with Mia Wei Corte and her family, and we wish her a speedy recovery,” Trevor said.

Corte’s family described her as “a real fighter” and “resilient” woman, according to WAGA. They said she just wrapped up her sophomore year and has dreams of becoming an audiologist.

“She was under the tree for approximately 15 to 20 minutes before they could get everything off of her and out,” Corte’s mom, Rebecca Corte, told the station.

Multiple witnesses pitched in to safely lift the tree off of Corte as authorities responded to the scene, according to a police incident report. Officers said she lost consciousness “at least three more times” and complained of head and neck pain when she came to.

Since the accident, UGA’s Student Care and Outreach team has offered support to the student and her family, a spokesperson said. The university’s president and other leadership have also visited Corte at the hospital.

Athens is about 70 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.

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