By Steve Barnes
LITTLE ROCK (Reuters) - An 18-year-old female Arkansas State University student was in critical condition at a hospital after being impaled in the neck by a golf club that broke apart in an accident at a fraternity, university and hospital officials said on Thursday.
Natalie Eaton, a first-year student, was struck at a fraternity cookout on Tuesday when a fellow undergraduate batted a tossed football with a golf club, breaking it and sending the lower portion flying 30 feet (9 meters) and into her neck, the university said.
Eaton, of Harrisburg, Arkansas, was treated initially at a local hospital, then flown by helicopter to a trauma center in nearby Memphis, Tennessee, it said.
The teen's condition was listed as critical on Thursday, said Angie Golding, a spokeswoman at Regional Medical Center in Memphis.
A second student was struck by another piece of the club but was not believed to be seriously injured. Arkansas State University at Jonesboro is about 135 miles (220 km) east of Little Rock.
(Reporting by Steve Barnes; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Chris Reese and Eric Walsh)