Ref and players injured during soccer match after light pole crashes onto field

Local News

(3/14/19) High school students in Arkansas are reliving what could have been deadly misfortune after a light pole injured several players when it fell during their soccer game.

“About 17 minutes left in the game and we are beating Dardenelle 1-0,” said Mena soccer player Andrew Davis.

The match in Clarksville was never finished after wind gusts of more than 40 MPH pounded the stadium.

Then tragedy struck as a light pole snapped in half, landed on a referee, and grazed Davis’ side.

Davis said, “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 in.”

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 Mena player Camden Broderson.

Brodersen says he had glass in his eye but ran to help the referee that was pinned under that pole.

He said, “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.”

Broderson washed the glass from his eyes and was taken to the hospital as 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.

Davis said, “I didn’t get lucky. It was by the grace of God that I was able just to move out of the way.”

The referee has since undergone surgery and the school district is now evaluating the safety of other light poles on the field.

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