A former Marine "most certainly" saved the life of a young woman who plunged from the third deck at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, say police.
The woman was apparently sitting with her back facing the field in empty Section 301 shortly before she tumbled off in front of thousands of fans as they were filing out of the stadium after the Raiders' 23-19 loss Sunday to the Tennessee Titans.
The woman, who is 20, and man who saved her, who is 61, remain unnamed and both were taken to Highland Hospital with serious injuries. The woman remains in critical condition, while the man was lucid and spoke with investigators on Sunday night.
Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office says the woman would have "most certainly" died if the Marine from Stockton, a lifelong Raider's fan, hadn't lunged forward to catch her.
"She pushed herself over and fell about 50 feet to the concrete below," Nelson said. "[The man] said he just saw it was a woman falling and instinctively went to try to save her."
A witness told ABC Affiliate KGO-TV that half a dozen people below pleaded with the woman not to jump.
"She dropped so fast I could hardly believe it," said witness, Woody Chamble. "Her knees had hit this gentleman in the chest and knocked him to the concrete and she kind of bounced off and hit the side of her head on the concrete."
The marine has since been released from hospital and is recovering at home, police said.
"He's a bit banged up and sore, but that's to be expected," said Nelson.
This is the second incident of people being injured after falling from one stadium upper level within a week. Last week an unruly Buffalo Bills fan survived a fall from the top deck of Ralph Wilson Stadium, after attempting to slide down the handrail. He fell 30 feet, injuring another man below and was later banned from the stadium.
Last year, a teenager suffered several broken bones after a fall from the third deck of the Oakland Coliseum in December, while earlier in September 2012, a Tennessee man died from a fall at the Georgia Dome.
There have been over two dozen incidences of fans falling at stadiums since 2003 around the country according to the Institute for the Study of Sports Incidents.
The AP contributed to this report.
- Tennessee Titans
- Oakland Coliseum