Fort Worth

Man Injured in Fall From AT&T Stadium Stands

A man critically injured in a fall from the stands at AT&T Stadium in Arlington is recovering.

The man, whose identity has not been released, was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth Saturday after falling 12-15 feet from the stands to the floor-level seats during the Texas Longhorns-UCLA football game.

On Monday afternoon, it was confirmed that the man's condition was upgraded from critical to good.

“A 12-15 foot fall landing on a hard concrete metal stadium seating surface can cause some serious injuries,” said Dr. Alex Eastman, interim director of the Trauma Center at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

An NBC DFW photojournalist's video captures first responders surrounding the man as they transported him via cart from the stadium.

“A fall from that height will certainly, if you strike your head, have the potential for severe traumatic brain injuries,” said Eastman.

Arlington firefighters said the victim is a middle-aged man who possibly received head trauma from the fall. He was conscious and talking to first responders when they arrived to help.

Medical experts consider 15 feet to be a low level fall, but say it can certainly cause a lot of injuries.

“It’s not off the top off the garage, but if you’re the one falling 12 feet you'll think it’s pretty high,” said Eastman.

Matthew Crites was in attendance at the game and witnessed the fan sitting right next to him fall about 15 feet to the floor.

“He pretty much just laid there with his eyes open, no moving in his chest,” said Crites. “My father in law, he works in the medical industry, he told me this guy is starting to lose color in his face. He’s starting to actually go pail.”

Crites and other witnesses screamed for help as the band continued to play during halftime.

“It was that time in between that really got me frantic, because some valuable time went by before anybody responded to it,” said Crites. “I’m not knocking on their staff. It was really loud. It was halftime.”

Crites says he was concerned about the man’s safety prior to the fall.

“Even at one point, I grabbed his shirt a little bit and was like, 'Hey, you need to watch out,' said Crites. “He was really getting into the game. He was leaning across the railing, picking his feet up a little bit.”

But he says it was less than 10 minutes later the man leaned too far and fell to the ground.

“The thoughts run through your head, 'Does he have a wife? Does he have kids?'” said Crites. “It was a pretty surreal moment.”

Lt. Lee Tovar, with the Arlington Fire Department, said fire inspectors checked and verified the height of the railing exceeds building code requirements.

Officials with AT&T Stadium sent a statement to NBC 5 saying they are reviewing the circumstances of the accident.

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