A fan of the jam group Phish dived to his death, and two other spectators were injured in a separate fall at the Chase Center in San Francisco over the weekend.
Ryan Prosser, 47, of Athens, NY, died Sunday after falling from an upper deck and landing in empty seats below, and authorities say evidence suggests he may have jumped.
Spectators alerted authorities at around 8:55 p.m., during the group’s first set, that a person needed medical assistance after a fall, San Francisco police officials said.
“We felt that thud. It was a remarkable thud “, a viewer told KPIX 5. “A friend of mine said, ‘Is this an earthquake?’ And the other guy said, “I think someone fell.” I saw the body of a shirtless man draped over a seat.
Officers who arrived at the scene worked to revive the man, but he was pronounced dead, said Robert Reuca, San Francisco Police Information Officer.
Police found no evidence of foul play in Prosser’s death, and the San Francisco medical examiner and coroner’s office is investigating, authorities said.
“The investigation has evidence to believe that the victim jumped from an elevated area of the arena, causing her to fall from a significant distance, which caused his injuries,” said Reuca. “Immediately before the victim jumped up, he didn’t appear to have physical contact with anyone.”
Chase Arena spokesperson Kimberly Veale said in a statement that arena officials were working with local authorities to determine what had happened.
“We send our deepest condolences to the relatives of the guest,” she said.
About an hour after the first fall, at 9:45 p.m., officers were alerted to another incident in which a man fell from a different upper section and landed on a bystander below. Both were taken to hospital and treated for their injuries, authorities said.
Evan Reeves, 44, of Oakland, was hit when an unidentified man ran into him, KPIX reported.
“It was a thud, then a sharp pain in my left leg and a guy’s head in my lap,” Reeves told the outlet. “I immediately dragged myself a few yards to gain some distance so that he could be healed.”
Reeves said the venue agreed to allow him to stay for the remainder of the concert before being taken to hospital, where he was treated for a broken leg.
He told reporters he was originally seated in the second row of the upper deck, but moved downstairs “because I didn’t feel safe dancing there.” He expressed concern about the weak plastic barriers in the upper sections.
Onlookers who witnessed the falls took to social media to describe what they saw. Twitter user Bobby Moen said in a post he was sitting in one of the first rows behind Possner when he saw him fall. After moving to another section, Moen later saw the second man fall.
“We are shaken, let’s go home early”, he said tweeted.
Rebecca Studer, an occupational therapist from Oakland, attended the concert but did not see the falls. However, she posted on social media an offer of 30-minute phone calls or Zoom sessions to help anyone who witnessed the events.
Studer said on Tuesday she spoke to a dozen people.
“Most of the reporting from people is about the repetitive experiences of the landing noise, the gory scene of the image of him in the seat he landed in, the paramedics attending to him and the pulse of help but without any real capacity to do so, ”she said.
Studer, who has been an occupational therapist for five years, said people who experience shock trauma or horror often have intrusive thoughts or reruns of the event. “It’s really important in the short term to be able to find resources and social connections,” she said.
As of Wednesday, the Phish group had not made any official statement on either of the falls.