Woman Recovering After Being Hit by a Boulder at Hot Springs in Diamond Fork Canyon
Jan 27, 2019, 9:35 PM | Updated: Oct 10, 2022, 11:28 am
SPANISH FORK, Utah – A Bountiful woman feels lucky to be alive after she was hit by a falling boulder while hiking and swimming in Utah County. It happened last Sunday in Diamond Fork Canyon, at the Fifth Water Hot Springs.
One week later, Shalee Booker, 35, is still shaken up and on bed rest. The good news is she’s expected to walk again in a few weeks. Until then, she’s reflecting back on that hike and can’t believe what happened.
“It’s just all really pretty unbelievable,” said Booker. “I’m grateful it wasn’t worse.”
Booker is currently immobilized after what she calls a freak accident during her hike.
“I just wanted to lay in the hot springs with the natural mineral water and the snow and the mountains and nature around me,” said Booker.
She and her boyfriend made it to the hot springs, but while she sat in one of the pools, a boulder from somewhere up the mountain came loose, rolled down and struck her in the back.
“I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t talk,” remembered Booker. “And I still didn’t know what happened.”
Her first thoughts went straight to her two young daughters.
“I was scared to think if I was going to be out of work, if I wouldn’t be able to take care of my kids,” said Booker through tears.
A group of strangers carried Booker out of the water and called for help on a satellite phone. They waited with her until she was on a rescue helicopter hours later, headed home to her little girls and thankful for the good Samaritans that may have saved her life.
“To think of what could have happened. It was all very scary,” said Booker. “I’m beyond grateful, I feel like, for everybody and everything.”
Booker fractured three vertebrae attached to her spine. She feels lucky because she says if the boulder hit her just a little to the left, she could be paralyzed. Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses.