Friday, July 8, 2011
Posted by J.R. Taylor at 10:29 AM
A Texas baseball fan fell 20 feet to his death after reaching over a barricade for a ball tossed to the crowd by an all-star player, with former President George W. Bush in attendance.
Arlington Fire Department officials said the man, who witnesses said was conscious after the fall, "went into full arrest" while being transported by ambulance. He was pronounced dead at a Fort Worth hospital less than an hour after he fell, the AP reported.
The man has been identified as Shannon Stone of the Brownwood Fire Department by the Brownwood News after Brownwood Fire Marshal Buddy Preston confirmed that a Brownwood firefighter died at a Texas Rangers baseball game in Arlington.
"We had a very tragic accident tonight and one of our fans lost their life reaching over the rail trying to get a ball," team president Nolan Ryan said somberly after the Rangers' 6-0 victory over Oakland. "As an organization, and as our team members and our staff, we're very heavy-hearted about this, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."
Hamilton is "very distraught over this, as the entire team is," Ryan said.
Ronnie Hargis, a fellow fan seated in the front row Thursday night, had spoken to Stone during the game and tried to grab him as he fell through the gap between the seats and the outfield wall, according the AP.
"He went straight down. I tried to grab him, but I couldn't," Hargis said. "I tried to slow him down a little bit."
Thursday's tragedy marks the second deadly fall at a Major League baseball game this season. A 27-year-old man died in May when he fell 20 feet at a Colorado Rockies game and struck his head on concrete.