An unidentified 49ers fan died Sunday, falling from an elevated pedestrian walkway at Candlestick Park in San Francisco shortly after the kickoff of the 2013 season opener between the 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. Although medics were quickly on hand, the Associated Press reported (via Yahoo Sports) Sept. 8, the injured man succumbed to injuries sustained in the fall.
Multiple sources indicated to police that the man was visibly intoxicated, a factor that may have contributed to the fall.
Police spokesman Gordon Shyy said off-duty medics and police officers administered first aid until an ambulance arrived, but the man was later declared dead from his injuries. Authorities described the unfortunate 49ers fan as possibly being in his 30s. His identity was being withheld until next of kin could be notified.
It was not clear as to how far the man fell.
But the 49ers fan that died wasn't the only fall on the first full day of the NFL season, although it was the only fall resulting in a death. A railing collapsed in Indianapolis, according to the Indianapolis Star, when two men leaned against it. Situated above the tunnel to the opposing team's (in this case, the Oakland Raiders) locker room, the fell to the surface below. One was carried away on a stretcher; the other left in a wheelchair.
The 49ers fan was the first to die from a fall since the tragic death at Reliant Stadium in Houston in August last year. CBS Houston reported that 45-year-old man had attempted to slide down the outer rail of an escalator and fell three stories. Although aid was administered, he was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.
The most recent deadly stadium fall occurred just last month when lifelong Atlanta Braves fan Ronald Lee Homer Jr fell 85 feet from the fourth level of Turner Field in Atlanta. Homer's death was the third at an Atlanta stadium within a year.
According to the Institute for the Study of Sports Incidents (per the San Francisco Chronicle), there have been more than two dozen cases of fans falling at stadiums throughout the U. S. since 2003.
The death of the 49ers fan came at the last opening game for the 49ers at Candlestick Park. Next season, the team moves to a new $1.2 billion facility in Santa Clara.