At least 10 people were injured at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night during USC’s 20-17 victory over Stanford.
Five people were transported during the game and five after the game, but none of the injuries were life-threatening, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. CBS Los Angeles reported that one man sustained a possible ankle fracture.
Fans stormed onto the field after USC scored a field goal with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter, bringing the score to 20-17. Students and fans pushed down the fence at the east end zone, USC Dept. of Public Safety Deputy Chief David Carlisle said.
Carlisle said DPS worked with the Los Angeles Police Department and Contemporary Services Corporation, a crowd management company, to keep everyone safe.
“Of course when you have thousands of people rushing the field, there’s nothing we can do to stop that,” Carlisle said. “We just try to prevent injuries.”
Carlisle said DPS was aware that the Stanford game might present safety issues and that the department tried to prepare for the possibility.
“We staff as many officers as we have available at games, and particularly at a big game like yesterday’s with a sold-out Coliseum and [it being] homecoming,” he said. “So, we knew there was going to be a large crowd.”
Daniel Avila, 63, was one of the people injured when the game ended. Avila was taken to the hospital after he was knocked down on the field. Avila is a photographer for the USC Sports Information Office, and he said he ran onto the field after the game in order to photograph the players and interim head coach Ed Orgeron.
“Somebody knocked me down and that led to a domino effect,” Avila said. “Everyone started tripping and a big pile ensued and I was the unlucky one at the bottom of it.”
Avila was transported to the hospital where his leg was X-rayed, but was found to be only badly bruised. He said he wasn’t upset about what happened, because it’s all just part of the job.
“I knew what was going to happen. As a photographer there is a risk involved in being on a field,” Avila said. “Players have run into me, knocked me over, but that’s one of the risks you take.”
Kate Guarino contributed to this report.
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