Two were injured and one killed in two separate falls at the San Francisco stadium.
A New York man appeared to have jumped to his death at a Phish concert on Sunday night — one hour before another man was seriously injured from a fall at the arena.
Ryan Prosser, 47, was found by off-duty officers around 9pm at San Francisco’s Chase Center after concert-goers alerted them to a man who needed medical attention after suffering a major fall. Prosser would later succumb to his injuries.
On Tuesday, police released a statement, saying Prosser was believed to have “leapt from an elevated area of the arena causing him to fall a significant distance, which caused his injuries.”
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Where Prosser was seated and what exactly he had jumped from has not been detailed.
Robert Moen told KTVU what he had witnessed of the incident. “We were a couple rows behind the first guy that jumped intentionally and we saw him right when he put his feet on the barrier, stood up and just leapt. He went out of view and I realized later, that was a huge drop, maybe four stories or so.”
The outlet also spoke with Prosser’s longtime friend Frank Bauer, who said he doesn’t believe his close buddy would have jumped off a ledge intentionally.
“He was like a brother to me,” he explained, before adding that he was surprised to find Prosser had flown across country to see Phish. “He was more of a Deadhead.”
When the second man fell an hour later, he landed in the lap of another concert-goer, Evan Reeves. Reeves, whose leg was broken from the incident, recalled the terrifying moment to KPIX.
“It was a loud thud, then sharp pain in my left leg and a guy’s head in my lap. I right away dragged myself a few feet away to get some distance so he could be treated. I knew immediately what had happened because as an usher in the music scene, I had already heard many stories of people falling from balconies over the years.”
After Reeves made sure the man who fell on him had treatable injuries and was going to survive, he insisted on staying to watch the rest of the concert.
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“My first thought, after hoping the guy’s OK, was hoping I wouldn’t have to miss the second set,” he explained. “With the on-site doctor’s consent, I convinced them to wheel me back in for the last 40 minutes while I waited for my wife to pick me up to take me to an Oakland hospital.”
In an ironic twist, Reeves had moved from his assigned seat — because he was afraid he was going to fall over the balcony.
“The balcony rows are super narrow, so it’s really hard to dance at your seat without fearing that you’re going to trip and fall,” he told the outlet. “I just decided to find another spot.”
He said he had just been discussing with his friend how dangerously low the walls are, pointing to a third concert-goer he was convinced was about to fall.
“In fact, during that exchange I saw a guy sitting on the pony wall facing his seat. One bump and he’d be a goner,” he said. “It should not be possible to sit on.”
He acknowledged that his incident could have been fatal too — for both himself and the man who landed on him.
“Life and death is seriously a game of inches,” he added.
In a statement, Chase Center expressed their “heartfelt condolences,” adding that the arena was “built and is operated in accordance with all applicable safety requirements governing facilities of its kind.”
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