CLARKSVILLE, Ark. - Students at a high school in Arkansas are speaking out after surviving what could have been a deadly accident. A tall stadium light pole fell during a soccer game, injuring several players.
"About 17 minutes left in the game and we are beating Dardenelle 1-0," Mena player Andrew Davis told KFSM. But the Mena and Dardanelle soccer players never finished that game in Clarksville Saturday, when wind gusts of more than 40 miles per hour pounded the stadium.
Video captured the moment the light pole snapped in half, landing on a referee and grazing Davis' side. "I started running around because I felt my head. I felt blood. I started running around saying 'I need help' because I didn't know what kind of condition I was," said Davis.
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Parents, coaches and fans rushed the field trying to see who all was hurt. "I heard the glass shattering and that's when the glass kind of blew right around where I was," said player Camden Broderson.
Brodersen says he had glass in his eye but ran to help the referee pinned under the pole. "He was face down at the moment. He was kind of screaming but I heard he was calm when he got to the ambulance but he was screaming at the moment. I kind of pulled the bar off of him and that's when everybody started crowding up," said Broderson.
Broderson washed the glass from his eyes and was taken to the hospital. Davis and the referee were rushed away in an ambulance. "My head was swollen pretty bad. My hands got tore up. I had seven stitches in my knee," said Davis.
Parents and players say the field was quickly evacuated and shut down as other light poles were shaking due to the wind. "I didn't get lucky. It was by the grace of God that I was able just to move out of the way," said Davis.
The students say the referee had to go through surgery after the accident.
The school district is still evaluating the safety of other light poles on the field.