HOUSTON—A Texans fan was injured by a falling portion of an LED screen at the game against the Miami Dolphins at Reliant Stadium Sunday.
Around 12:40 p.m., an aluminum cover from one of the north end zone LED display boards fell approximately 15 to 18 feet onto Scott Woodard, a NASA engineer, and another guest.
Woodard is a season ticket holder who was attending the game with his girlfriend Marcie Van Matre.
“I basically was like was what the hell. I was kind of in shock. I thought maybe somebody hit me in the head with a pole or a boot or something,” said Woodard over the telephone.
Woodard and the other guest were both treated by event medical staff. The unidentified guest returned to the game and Woodard was transported to a local hospital for further treatment of his head injury.
Woodard says he waited an hour for paramedics to take him to the hospital.
“They didn’t give me any paper work at all… they didn’t give any type of number. They didn’t tell me I could call anybody else back. They told me we can put a band aid and you can go back,” he explained.
Woodard’s girlfriend, Marcie Van Matre says before she could even blink, the panel gravitated toward its next victim.
“And it was just immediate. He just had blood. It hit his scalp and he had blood gushing down,” said Marcie Van Matre. “Had he been looking up, that could’ve been even more serious than it really was.”
She believes a ball cap that Woodard was wearing partially shielded the impact. As painful as this has been, this couple said it’s not going to stop them from returning to future games.
On Monday, Woodard’s attorney announced that they would be holding a press conference on Tuesday.
“As a Texans fan who has attended most of the games, it is very disconcerting to see injuries like this occur, particularly at a relatively new stadium,” said attorney Brent Coon.
“We are obtaining a temporary restraining order to preserve the evidence and allow us the opportunity to further inspect the equipment involved, the pieces that fell, why they fell, and whatever else the investigation draws to our attention. Maybe they should have given out helmets instead of terrible towels for fan appreciation day,” he said.
A spokesperson for Reliant Stadium released a statement saying, “First and foremost our concern is for the wellbeing of the two guests that were injured, as well as the safety of all of the Reliant Park guests.”
After the game, staff at Reliant Stadium had the panels inspected by the manufacturer to determine the cause of the falling debris.
At this time, it appears that the cause of the accident may have been “mischief,” according to the release.
The accident took place 10 days after another fan fatally fell three stories from a stadium escalator.