Raiders fan saves life of woman who jumped from upper deck (video)

November 25, 2013

Law enforcement officials walk in the upper deck of O.co Coliseum after a fan jumped. (Jeff Chiu / AP Photo)

An Oakland Raiders fan saved the life of a woman who was believed to have been trying to commit suicide when he broke her fall from the third level at O.co Coliseum after the Raiders’ loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

The man, who was identified by the San Jose Mercury News only as a 61-year-old Marine Corps veteran and lifelong Raiders fan from Stockton, repeatedly yelled “Don’t do it” from the concourse area and, when the woman jumped, he tried to catch her. Police said he was seriously hurt, but was conscious and is expected to survive. The woman, who fell 45 feet, was critically injured.

“He saved her life quite honestly at his own expense,” Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County sheriff’s office told the Mercury News. “This guy 100 percent saved her life. She’d be dead now.”

The incident started about 15 minutes after the game ended. The woman went to an area covered by a tarp because the games are not sellouts and more than one person attempted to talk her out of jumping.

“He just couldn’t imagine having people see that,” Nelson said of the heroic man. “He said it was a reaction. Even now, at the hospital, he’s very concerned about her. He’s a real compassionate person. Raider fans get a bad reputation, yet here’s this guy that went way over and above what most people would do to try and save this woman.”

This is the latest in a series of fan injuries at games in the last few years. Last week, a man fell from a railing at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. In September, a man died from a fall outside Candlestick Park at the 49ers-Packers game. In the summer of 2012, a fan died after an escalator fall at Reliant Stadium. Last December, a teenager was seriously injured when he fell from the third deck of the Coliseum. In August, a fan died after a fall at Turner Field.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | November 25, 2013