A man is in “grave condition” after falling off the top deck at least 40 feet to the concrete on the first level below during the Braves’ game against the New York Yankees on Saturday night.
The fall occurred in the top of the seventh inning, as the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez was walking to the plate amid a chorus of boos. The man apparently fell off the upper deck, the 400 level of the stadium, behind the home-plate area and landed between the second and third row of seats on the first level in section 202. Fans seated in that area immediately scattered, and paramedics rushed in to try to revive him.
The man eventually was carried out. But there was a pool of blood on the concrete where he was lying, and a stadium worker with a mop later came to clean it up.
Sgt. Greg Lyon with Atlanta police said, “Yes. A fan has fallen and his condition is grave. We are investigating the circumstances of the fall, and I will keep you posted as I learn more.”
A fan, Greg Shiver of Tennessee, who was attending the game with his son, said, “We were sitting in Row 6 and I just told him to watch for A-Rod. And then we heard a big thud. I saw a guy falling from the top. I grabbed my son and ran for security. He was bleeding pretty badly. I don’t think he’s gonna make it. And I don’t have any clue how he fell.”
Marty Burns of Vernon, Ala., was seated in section 401 near the man who fell.
“When they called A-Rod coming to bat, he got all excited, and his momentum took him over (the railing).”
The area near where the man sat soon was vacant as people reacted to what they saw.
“People started crying right away,” said Donnie Marley of Fayetteville, N.C., who also was seated near the man who fell. “A lot of people left. It was surreal. It was like, ‘did I just see that happen.’”
This is not the first tragedy at Turner Field. In 2013, a Braves fan, Ronald Lee Homer Jr., 30, of Conyers died Aug. 12 after climbing over a railing and leaping to his death in a parking lot 85 feet below. Homer’s family said the death was accidental but it was ruled a suicide.
Another man fell to his death in 2008. Justin Hayes, 25, of Cumming suffered fell an estimated four levels inside the stadium to field level, striking a concrete and metal railing. He was taken to the hospital but later died of his injuries.