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Man breaks fall of woman who leaps from Oakland coliseum deck, authorities say

From Joe Sutton, CNN
November 26, 2013 -- Updated 2038 GMT (0438 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The woman "pushed herself forward" from a closed-to-the-public area on the third level
  • Authorities: The vet tried to shield her fall with his body
  • Both were hurt

(CNN) -- Were it not for the quick thinking of a Marine vet, a woman who apparently jumped from the third level of the Oakland Coliseum Sunday may not have survived, police say.

"He put himself in a lot of risk. And, right now, he is in the hospital paying the price for it," said Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson.

The incident took place at the end of the Oakland Raiders-Tennessee Titans game as fans were filing out.

The unidentified woman went to a seating area on the third level that was closed to the public.

As onlookers urged her, "Don't do it, don't do it," she pushed herself forward, Nelson said.

The 61-year-old Marine vet, who also was not identified, happened to be leaving the coliseum with a friend. A lifelong Raiders fan, he had just recently purchased season tickets after following the team on TV for years.

As the woman plummeted 40 to 50 feet, he shielded her fall with his body, authorities said.

The woman was hospitalized with a wound to her head. Police don't know what prompted her to jump; she was in a hospital intensive care unit early Monday morning, Nelson said.

The man, too, was hurt -- but his injuries aren't life-threatening.

"There are not a lot of people who would have done what he did," Nelson said.

In an unrelated incident, a 48-year-old man suffered severe head injuries Sunday after falling down steps at the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore during the Ravens game against the New York Jets, authorities said.

Stadium deaths: What's behind the fatal falls?

CNN's Janet DiGiacomo and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.

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