STILLWATER — Oklahoma State University fans were so excited about the Cowboys' Bedlam win over the University of Oklahoma on Saturday night that some jumped several feet from the stands to rush the field and were injured.
At least 13 people were injured, but officials said more people could have been hurt but refused treatment.
Gary Shutt, spokesman for OSU, said Sunday that 10 people had to be taken to a hospital for injuries after rushing onto the field. “It was an exciting time for our fans,” he said.
Two people were taken by helicopter to Oklahoma City hospitals after suffering injuries, and both are in stable condition. One was a student injured during the postgame celebration, and the other was an adult who had a medical episode early in the second half, Shutt said.
OSU President Burns Hargis said the university's policy is that no one is allowed on the field at any time, and officials made an announcement toward the end of the game to remind fans of that policy.
“Despite the efforts of the security team, fans rushed onto the field causing several injuries. We regret those injuries to a few fans on the field,” Hargis said. “While the majority of injuries were not serious, we are concerned about everyone, especially the student and fan who were transported to an Oklahoma City hospital for additional observation and treatment.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone,” he said.
Hargis went on to say that the university was grateful for medical personnel at the stadium. “They provided swift medical attention to those in need,” he said.
Michael Authement, director of operations for LifeNet EMS, said it took officials about 45 minutes to clear the field. He said most people injured in the celebration were tended to immediately and removed.
“My main concern was keeping everyone safe and getting the wounded out,” he said. “I had no idea that it would get that busy.”
Authement said nine ambulances and four helicopters were at the scene. He said paramedics used two helicopters to fly the two critical, unresponsive patients to Oklahoma City hospitals.
There also were reports of other people being jumped on and trampled on the field, he said.
“There was a ton of people down there. You couldn't really tell what happened to them,” Authement said.
OSU fan Daniel Boyington, 30, of Yukon, said he rushed onto the field with his brother after the first goal post came down and fell and broke his collarbone.
He said he was in a clear end zone, running around and celebrating when the person in front of him tripped and fell. Boyington jumped over the person and landed hard on his right side.
“I really didn't feel it until I started walking back to the car,” he said.
“My wife took me to the emergency room this morning, and I broke my collarbone.”
Boyington said he has been an OSU fan since he was 5. When the Cowboys pulled off the 44-10 defeat against the Sooners, he said he couldn't help but join the crowd and be apart of the celebration.
“This way I'll never forget the game,” he said, adding that he was glad he wasn't in a heavy populated area of the field or else he might have been trampled.
OSU Police Capt. Richard Atkins said several people were injured by jumping over the walls of the stadium stands, and many had twisted ankles because they didn't realize how high the stands were.
One woman wrote Sunday on Twitter that she saw a man jump onto the tarp above the locker room and fall to the ground.
Atkins said he's received a report of a man who jumped from 15 feet and landed on his back on the concrete. “It's farther down than it looks,” Atkins said. “We put people in place that tell them not to.”
But when the final seconds ticked down, the field became a sea of orange, and fans started tearing down the goal posts.
Atkins said no injuries were reported due to the tearing down of the goal posts. He said most people might have had smashed fingers or were pushed around, but they didn't suffer any significant injuries.
Shyla Eggers, director of public relations at Stillwater Medical Center, said the hospital staff received six patients from ambulances and two others were brought in by cars. She said the injuries ranged from ankle sprains, ankle fractures to back and heel sprains.
She said two people injured after the game are still at Stillwater Medical Center, waiting to undergo surgery for ankle fractures. The other six have been treated and released.
“We haven't seen anything like this in what I can remember in the last 12 years,” she said.