Friday, July 8, 2011

Rangers fan who died in fall was a firefighter

Shannon Stone, 39, a firefighter for nearly 18 years in Brownwood, Texas, fell after reaching for a ball tossed his way by outfielder Josh Hamilton.

ARLINGTON, Texas A firefighter has been identified as the Texas Rangers fan who died after falling from the stands while reaching for a baseball tossed his way by All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office said Friday that the victim was 39-year-old Shannon Stone of Brownwood. City Manager Bobby Rountree said Stone had been a firefighter for nearly 18 years in Brownwood, 150 miles southwest of Arlington.
Stone fell about 20 feet onto concrete during the second inning late Thursday, tumbling over the left-field railing after catching the ball and falling into an area out of sight from the field as the Rangers faced Oakland. Stone's young son witnessed the fall.

"We had a very tragic accident tonight and one of our fans lost their life reaching over the rail trying to get a ball," team President Nolan Ryan said. "As an organization, and as our team members and our staff, we're very heavy-hearted about this, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."

It is the second fatal fall at a big league ballpark this season. In May, a 27-year-old man died after he fell about 20 feet and hit his head on concrete during a Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field in Denver. Witnesses told police that the man was trying to slide down a railing and lost his balance.

Last July at Rangers Ballpark, a fan fell 30 feet from the second deck of seats down the first base side while trying to catch a foul ball. That fan, Tyler Morris, suffered a fractured skull and sprained ankle.

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