Man, 25, falls off escalator to his death at Reliant Stadium during Texans game

Police investigate accident

HOUSTON - A man accidentally fell to his death while on an escalator at Reliant Stadium during the Texans' game on Thursday night.

Officials said Jonathan Kelly, 25, fell near the Coca-Cola entrance at the stadium while he was trying to slide down an escalator at 8 p.m. Stadium officials said he fell approximately 60 feet to his death.

Several fans witnessed the fall and screamed.

"We were walking into our regular gate and heard this thud. I walked far enough to notice he wasn't responding and called 911, and then waited for security and police to show up," witness Lori Freese said. "He landed on the first step or two, face-down."

"The male fell off the northeast escalator at Reliant Stadium while descending from Level 5 to Level 3," said Mark Miller, the general manager of Reliant Park, at a news conference Friday morning.

Kelly was rushed to a hospital, but died as a result of his injuries.

The bank of escalators where the accident occurred will be closed during the investigation.

"We're going to make sure all the equipment is working. It's going to be shut down and put out of service until the technicians have gone through everything. We've got events tonight. It will be closed tonight. It should be reopen next week," Miller said.

Miller said at least one Reliant Park staff-member is at every landing of the escalators.

"We can't speculate on (what happened)," Miller said.

Kelly was at the stadium with friends for the Houston Texans' last preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. Investigators are waiting for toxicology results to determine if Kelly had any alcohol in his system.

Kelly's uncle said Kelly was a huge Texans fan and loved the team. He worked for a city water department. The uncle, who did not want to be identified, said Kelly was a great guy who had a lot going for him. His mother was devastated over her son's death.

"We want to express our deep sadness at this tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this young man. Our organization has been engaged with Park staff and HPD from the beginning of this investigation. We'll continue to be actively involved," said Jamey Rootes, the president of the Houston Texans.

In 2011, a 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.

Shannon Stone fell about 20 feet onto concrete when he tumbled 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. Cooper Stone, his 9-year-old son, witnessed the fall during the second inning.

In April, a statue of Stone and his son was dedicated to Rangers fans in front of the home plate gate at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Railings also were raised throughout the ballpark before this season.

In 2010 at Rangers Ballpark, a fan fell 30 feet from the second deck while trying to catch a foul ball. Tyler Morris suffered a fractured skull and sprained ankle.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.