Witnesses: Man playing on escalator fell to his death at Reliant Stadium

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 4:29 PM

HOUSTON – The man who fell 60 feet to his death at Reliant Stadium during a Texans preseason game was sliding down the railing of an escalator, witnesses said.

The accident happened after 8 p.m. Thursday as the Texans played the Vikings at the stadium.

Randall Wisdom, a Texans fan from Channelview, said he and his 18-year-old daughter were on the escalator below the victim when the incident happened.

“My daughter is devastated. She’s never experienced something like that,” he said. “We seen him when he landed.”

Wisdom said they first saw a hat and cup fall, and the man came next. 

Other witnesses said Jonathan Kelly, 25, was horsing around when he fell from the 600 level, which is the highest level for fan seating. 

He was transported by private ambulance to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

"There is the code required signage on every escalator," said Reliant Park General Manager Mark Miller. "The command post dispatched two medical teams -- one from the service level, another from the field level. On arrival, they treated and transported the gentleman immediately."

"We want to express our deep sadness at this tragic accident," Jamey Rootes, the president of the Texans, said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this young man."

Investigators were still looking into the incident and said the stadium's northeast escalator would remain shut down through at least Friday.

"We're going to make sure all the equipment is working," Miller said. "It's going to be shut down and put out of service until the technicians have gone through everything. We have events tonight.
"It will be closed tonight. It should be reopen next week."

Houston Police Department homicide detectives were called to the scene. HPD said Friday they are looking into the incident as an accidental death.

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