Georgia Dome – A 20-year-old Tennessee University fan plunged to his death after falling from the upper level of the Georgia Dome and striking another fan during the Tennessee-North Carolina State game, authorities said Saturday.
Isaac Grubb of Lenoir City, Tenn., was pronounced dead Friday night at an Atlanta hospital just before midnight after falling on another fan seated in the mezzanine area during the game Friday evening. Grubb fell about 35 feet and appeared to have suffered injuries from blunt force trauma.
The other injured fan was a man who was subsequently treated at another Atlanta hospital and released.
Two fans in Section 311, behind the end zone, were sitting near the man who fell and described what happened.
“Tennessee had scored a touchdown — I believe it was the second,” William Coates, a Tennessee fan from Arkansas, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “There were three people who weren’t with [our group]. … It looked like [the man who fell] was doing a fist pump, and then he was gone over the top.”
William Fossett, a Tennessee fan from Paducah, Ky., said, “He was just laying there [in the section below] between rows. It took like 15 minutes for the medical workers to get there.”
Coates added, “He wasn’t moving. His chest was moving a little.”
The incident is being jointly investigated by Atlanta police and Georgia World Congress Center police.
Authorities said the fall occurred about 8:30 p.m. Friday night during the game in which Tennessee beat North Carolina 35-21in the season opener for both teams.
The incident occurred a day after a 25-year-old fan tumbled about 60 feet from a fifth-floor escalator at Reliant Stadium in Houston during a preseason Houston Texans game. Jonathon Kelly died from the fall during the Thursday night game against the Minnesota Vikings, and frantic witnesses called police to report where his body had landed, police spokesman John Cannon said.
Police said the fall appeared to be an accident.
In July 2011, a 39-year-old firefighter attending a Texas Rangers game in Arlington died when he fell from the left field stands while reaching for a baseball tossed his way by All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton. The man’s 9-year-old son witnessed the fall. A statue was later dedicated at Rangers Ballpark to the man and his son, and railings were raised throughout the park before this season.