KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (SOURCE: WIRES, WVLT)--
A massive piece of metal from the jumbotron at Neyland Stadium flew into
the crowd and hit one man Saturday, according to a Volunteers fan.
Chad Wyrick told local news outlets he was sitting in the stands
watching highlights on the jumbotron about 15-20 minutes before kickoff.
All of a sudden, Wyrick said he saw a big piece of metal detach from the
screen and land on an older man sitting near him.
"At first, everybody was shocked; it went completely silent," said
Wyrick. "The impact was so loud."
Wryick said he saw the metal hit the man in the back but couldn't tell
if it hit him in the head from where he was standing.
The Tennessee fan said the man appeared to be okay but was noticeably
frightened. He captured the aftermath of the accident on his cell phone.
"He was obviously shaken, but physically, he seemed to get up on his
own, with the assistance of others, and escort himself out of the
stadium," said Wyrick. "I was amazed and shocked and hoping this man was
okay, and others around me were hoping the same."
The man did not return to Neyland and was taken to the hospital,
according to Wyrick.
Wyrick said he may have been the only one in his section to see the
metal fly off the jumbotron. He added everyone around him was
questioning how it got in the stands.
"Everybody else was looking at the field or talking to each other," said
Wyrick. "They were just amazed at what had happened."
Wyrick said he does not know if the man was a Tennessee or LSU fan
because he wasn't wearing any colors suggesting what team he was
Wyrick said the colors didn't matter at the time and wishes the man a
"I'm praying for you, man, I hope you're doing well," said Wyrick.
"These things shouldn't happen at the University of Tennessee; our
facilities should be top notch, and I hate it for him."
Wyrick called the mishap unacceptable.
Local 8 News reached out to the University of Tennessee for comment.
A spokesperson for UT said the administration is aware that the metal
hit the man but do not know his condition.
UT officials said their spectators' safety is their top priority.