Marine Vet Breaks Fall of Woman Jumping From Upper Deck at NFL Game

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 25 2013 11:05 AM

Marine Vet Breaks Fall of Woman Jumping From Upper Deck at NFL Game

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Oakland Raiders fans have never been you typical NFL crowd

File photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

A 61-year-old Marine Corp veteran is being hailed as a hero this morning after he almost certainly saved the life of a woman who apparently jumped 45 feet or so from the upper deck of the Oakland Coliseum at the end of an NFL game on Sunday. The man wasn't able to stop the woman from taking the leap, but he nonetheless sacrificed his body to make the life-saving play as, quite literally, time was running out. Here's the San Jose Mercury News with the details of the heroic feat:

The tense, brief standoff began around 4:30 p.m., 15 minutes after the end of the game in which Oakland lost 23-19 to the Tennessee Titans, authorities said. The 61-year-old Stockton man, a Marine Corps veteran, was on the second deck concourse level when he noticed the woman above, and repeatedly shouted, "don't do it," [Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office] said.
But she jumped to the concourse below. The woman, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. She had gone to the west upper deck seating area in a section covered by a tarp, police said, and it appeared she was alone before she jumped. ... "He just couldn't imagine having people see that," Nelson said. "He said it was a reaction. Even now, at the hospital he's very concerned about her. He's a real compassionate person.
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The woman was knocked unconscious in the fall, and her exact condition is unknown. The as-yet-unidentified hero of our story, meanwhile, was also taken to the hospital after suffering what were said to be "serious" injuries, but he is expected to survive. "He saved her life quite honestly, at his own expense," Nelson said last night. "This guy 100 percent saved her life. She'd be dead now."

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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