OAKLAND, Calif. >> A woman who jumped from the third level of the Oakland Raiders’ stadium survived after a man tried to catch her and broke her fall, authorities said.
The woman, who was not identified, was critically injured Sunday after plunging about 45 feet at O.co Coliseum. She jumped shortly after the Raiders’ 23-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans, as fans filed out of the stadium.
The 61-year-old man from Stockton, Calif., who tried to catch her was seriously injured but was conscious and talking when he was taken to the hospital, authorities said. He was released Monday, Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.
“He saved her life quite honestly, at his own expense,” Nelson told the Oakland Tribune. “This guy 100 percent saved her life. She’d be dead now.”
Nelson declined to release the names of the injured parties.
The woman went to a seating area that was covered by a tarp and appeared to be alone when she jumped, Nelson said. Fans who spotted her tried to stop her.
“I yelled at her, ‘Don’t do it, please don’t do it!’ about 10 times. But she crawled out to the edge and jumped,” witness Ron Brown of Sacramento told KTVU-TV.
The injured man was with a friend lingering near the flagpoles and Al Davis commemorative flame when he saw the commotion around the woman, Nelson told the TV station.
The man also repeatedly shouted, “Don’t do it,” as he lunged toward the woman as she dropped, Nelson said. He was knocked down as he tried to catch her.
Arriving paramedics found the woman in critical condition and the man also injured on the concourse. Initially, they thought she fell on him, but witnesses say he actually jumped to where she was falling and tried to save her.
Nelson visited the injured man in the hospital Sunday evening.
“He just couldn’t imagine having people see that,” Nelson said. “He said it was a reaction.”
Nelson told KTVU the injured man served in the Marine Corps. He is also a longtime Raiders fan and a season ticket holder.
The fall was the second such incident at an NFL game Sunday. In Baltimore, a 48-year-old man was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after he fell on some stairs at M&T Bank Stadium during the Ravens game against the New York Jets, authorities said.
Last weekend, two fans were injured in Orchard Park, N.Y., after one fan slid down a railing from the upper deck of Ralph Wilson Stadium during the Buffalo Bills’ home game against the Jets. Both were briefly hospitalized and released.
On the NFL’s opening day this year, a fan died from a fall off a pedestrian overpass outside Candlestick Park in San Francisco, and two others were injured when a railing collapsed at the Colts’ game against the Raiders in Indianapolis.