Man critically injured in fall from stands at Everbank Field during soccer match

By Vic Micolucci, General assignment reporter, vic@wjxt.com
Chris Robbins, Evening newscast producer, crobbins@wjxt.com
Published On: Jun 07 2014 08:52:34 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 08 2014 03:20:00 PM EDT

A soccer fan is fighting for his life right now at UF Health Jacksonville after falling more than 40 feet from the third level of the stadium.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A man is in critical condition after falling from the stands at EverBank Field during the World Cup friendly match between the U.S. and Nigeria.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Cuidy Edouard Joseph, 24, of Jacksonville, fell 42 feet from the third level of the stands in the 244 level onto the second floor concourse.

Joseph was rushed to UF Health Jacksonville and police said he was taken into surgery.  On Monday morning he was still listed in critical condition.

Sgt. T.K. Waters said around 6:50 p.m. witnesses saw the man running up the stairs to section 244 in the south end zone.

Joseph Cuidy They told the detectives it appears Joseph (pictured) tried to stand on a seat in the top row and toppled over.

He landed on the concrete on the concourse below, in between two concession stands. Workers and other fans immediately rushed to help him. Police and firefighters were already inside the stadium quickly put the man on a stretcher and into an ambulance.

Witnesses said they were praying the man would survive.

Police say their investigation is ongoing, but the incident appears to be accidental and they don't think anyone else was involved in causing the fall.

They said alcohol use did not immediately appear to be a factor.

"We were just walking out of the stadium with a big crowd when all of a sudden, I just happened to be looking in the right direction when a person just fell from the upper concourse and hit the concrete. We heard this horrifying noise then there was a big crowd of people around him. Just a lot of yelling, people tell us to stay back," said Megan Keese. 

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