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SALT LAKE CITY — It is a trail Kyler Bourgeous has run nearly 150 times. But on Saturday afternoon, he encountered bison as he ran up to Frary Peak on Antelope Island State Park.
“He said ‘I just turned and tried to run and I could see I wasn’t going to make it so I turned sideways,’” said Bonnie Bourgeous, Kyler’s mother. “He was aware of the risks and dangers and that’s what saved his life.”
Bonnie Bourgeous said her son was gored on the right side of his torso and thrown into the air by a bison.
“He went down and curled up and got kicked in the head,” she said. “Then he got stepped on several times.”
The 30-year-old hiker was flown to the University of Utah Hospital. Doctors told the family he was lucky his injuries were where they were on his body.
“He said he just turned and tried to run and could see he wasn’t going to make it.” At 10:00, we’re hearing from the mother of a hiker who was trampled by bison. Join us on @KSL5TV at 10:00 to hear what she believes saved his life. pic.twitter.com/MxyqPOZuam— Ashley Moser (@AshleyMoser) June 4, 2019
“If he had not turned just one inch this way or that way, it would have gone through his heart and his lungs and his organs, and there is no way he would have survived,” Bourgeous said.
Her son suffered broken ribs, a collapsed lung and head injuries — but doctors are hopeful he will make a full recovery.
“He is strong, but he’s in a lot of pain, but he’s going to make it,” Bourgeous said.
Family has set up a GoFundMe account* to help with mounting medical bills.
*KSL does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.