Texans fan injured at Reliant Stadium speaks out

September 11, 2012 3:38:53 AM PDT
For the first time, we're hearing from a Texans fan who was smacked in the head by a falling piece of equipment during Sunday's game at Reliant Stadium.

It turns out he was badly injured and has hired an attorney.

Marcie Van Matre says she was sitting with her boyfriend, Scott Woodard, in Section 115.

"We were all excited. We were in our white jerseys for White Out Day," Van Matre said.

At that point, the Texans were losing 3-0 but there was also trouble in the stands when a metal object came flying from above.

"It hit my neighbor and I looked at him first, because I saw it hit him first and he got a knot on his head. Then when I looked over at Scott, it hit his scalp and he had blood gushing down," Van Matre said.

Cell phone photos show Woodard after a long section of a metal frame that had been attached to one of the scoreboard signs dislodged and fell on him.

"I didn't know what was going on. I thought someone had hit me over the head with a beer bottle," Woodard told us in a phone interview Monday.

Compounding Woodard's issues, he claims that medical attention was slow in coming.

"I was injured in the first quarter and they didn't have an ambulance for me until the final hour," he said.

"It was just scary being in an emergency situation and it taken that long for help," Van Matre said.

Woodard says he now has seven staples in his scalp and has slept little since going to a game he saw little of.

As engineer for NASA, Woodard is concerned over the design and construction issues associated with the equipment which fell on his head.

He's hired Brent Coon to handle the case.

"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," Coon said in a statement released Monday. "Maybe they should have given out helmets instead of 'terrible towels' for fan appreciation day."

Reliant Park released a statement Monday as well, blaming the incident on "mischief":

"First and foremost our concern is for the well being of the two guests that were injured as well as the safety of all of the Reliant Park guests. At approximately 12:40 p.m. CT September 9, 2012 at Reliant Stadium an aluminum cover for one of the North end zone LED display boards dislodged and fell approximately 15 ft. to 18 ft. onto the guests seated below. One guest was treated at the scene by event medical staff and transported to an area hospital at approximately 1:35 p.m. for additional medical treatment. The other guest was treated and returned to the event. At the conclusion of the game, the manufacturer (Daktronics) reinspected all of the panels. We are continuing to work with the manufacturer to determine what caused the panel to fall, but at this time it appears that the cause may have been mischief."

Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest as we continue following this story.


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