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Witness says man who fell from Tropicana Field escalator at Tampa Bay Rays game was sitting on handrail

ST. PETERSBURG — The 27-year-old man who fell from the escalator after the Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field on Wednesday night was sitting side-saddle on the handrail, a witness told firefighters.

Jason Graham, of Palmetto, was seriously injured after falling about 40 feet from the escalator near the Tropicana Field food court. He suffered broken bones to both legs and other injuries, police said.

St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Proffitt said "no foul play" is suspected in the incident.

Graham was leaving the Tampa Bay Rays-Boston Red Sox game, authorities said, when he fell. He was conscious when paramedics arrived.

He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center. Hospital representatives said he was in serious condition on Thursday.

Steve Lavely, 53, said he was at the top of the escalator with his kids, about 10 feet above Graham, when the man fell. "Unfortunately, it was like a train wreck. You couldn't help but look."

Lavely said Graham was with an older couple and a young boy, maybe 8 or 9 years old, who screamed when Graham went over the side of the escalator. "I will never forget the scream," he said. "My kids sat down and prayed afterwards. They were just mortified."

He said a crowd gathered, with people "freaking out," as the ambulance was on its way. The man wasn't moving.

Lavely is a personal injury lawyer but said he wouldn't take this case. For one, he's a witness, and secondly, "He's got to be 99.9 percent at fault," Lavely said.

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Witness says man who fell from Tropicana Field escalator at Tampa Bay Rays game was sitting on handrail 08/06/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 6, 2009 7:07pm]

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