Police investigating fatal escalator fall during Texans game at Reliant Stadium

August 31, 2012 2:55:21 PM PDT
A Texans fan died after falling from a stadium escalator. Witnesses say the man was trying to slide down the handrail and may have been dared to do it by a friend.

We are waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death of Jonathan Kelly, 25, who fell from an escalator at Reliant Stadium. It happened during the third quarter as some fans were leaving the Texans' final pre-season game.

Reliant park staff members say they are taking a hard look at safety procedures after that deadly fall that took place on the northeast side of the stadium.

The escalators just beyond the Coca-Cola gate at Reliant Stadium aren't moving. They've been shut down after a man fell to his death during Thursday's pre-season game between the Texans and Minnesota Vikings.

Eyewitness Veronica Mares recalled, "We're watching the body go down, and he lands and we're like OK, he's not moving. He's dead you know?"

Mares says she and her family were on the escalator during the third quarter when they witnessed Kelly's 60-foot fall. Mares says she saw the 25-year-old Houston man and two of his friends holding drinks and playing around, riding the escalator's handrails.

"He rode the rail for like two or three seconds and after that you just see him falling," she said. "He couldn't grab anything. I mean, there was nothing he could have grabbed."

We took an up close look at the area where the accident happened. There are no stairs nor walls that could have cushioned that deadly drop from the fifth level to the ground.

"They were horseplaying when they shouldn't have been," Mares said.

During a news conference Friday morning, administrators for both Reliant Park and the Texans expressed their sympathies for Kelly's family.

Houston Texans President Jamey Roots said, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this young man."

For now, administrators are staying rather tight-lipped about certain details in the investigation while making sure safety inspectors take a look at these escalators. We did ask whether alcohol was a factor in that fall. Reliant Park's manager mentioned that could be a factor in the investigation. The medical examiner's autopsy results have not been completed.


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