What could have been an outright tragedy was averted thanks to the valiance of an Oakland Raiders fan who saved the life of a woman when she jumped from the third deck of the Oakland Coliseum.
David DeBolt of the San Jose Mercury News reports that a 61-year-old man from Stockton—who is also a Marine Corps veteran—was on the second deck when he noticed the woman, who apparently intended to take her own life by jumping.
After calling to the woman not to jump and trying to talk her out of her decision, the woman jumped anyway and the man attempted to catch her from where he was on the second level concourse. That courageous action cost both of them severe injuries in the aftermath of what was a 45-foot fall, but the man and the woman are both expected to live.
Sergeant J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office shed more light on the situation, believing there was no way the woman would have survived if not for someone to break her fall.
"He saved her life quite honestly, at his own expense," said Nelson. "This guy 100 percent saved her life. She'd be dead now."
According to DeBolt's report, authorities said the incident began at around 4:30 p.m. after the Raiders had lost to the Tennessee Titans, 23-19.
Nelson visited the seriously injured man in the hospital on Sunday night, noting that he was still concerned about the woman he had saved in spite of his own condition, which could have been averted if not for his altruistic act.
He just couldn't imagine having people see that...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.
Stadium security and safety is an ongoing endeavor in professional sports. While this latest incident could have been tragic, the man's reaction and selfless decision to help gives the woman a new lease on life.
It also shows the heroic acts that any individual can make happen on any given day.