ARLINGTON (AP) – Seven people suffered minor injuries when a runaway electric cart raced unmanned from an end zone to midfield and plowed into them after a high school football playoff game in Texas.
The incident happened after Spring Dekaney beat Cibolo Steele, 34-14, to win the Texas 5A Division II football title at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Saturday night.
Of the seven treated for minor injuries at the stadium, one man with leg abrasions was taken to a nearby hospital for a precautionary examination, Arlington Fire Lt. Darrel Whitfield said Sunday.
The winning head coach was among those bowled over by the cart.
Separately, a Texas sports league official said a male staffer also was injured, not seriously, when the cart raced across field in a matter of seconds during onfield celebrations after the championship game. That official also declined identification.
The cart toppled Spring Dekaney coach Willie Amendola, who was being interviewed near the Cowboys midfield star logo with several other people clustered near him moments after the game. Hundreds of people were scattered about the field or were in the stands at the time.
Broadcast footage showed a stunned Amendola falling backwards into the cart’s passenger seat as it continued rolling. He appeared to try in vain to gain control of the cart, spinning the steering wheel with his left hand, before rolling out onto the artificial turf. As he tumbled out, a pursuing field worker hopped aboard and stopped the cart quickly.
“We have a disturbance down the field. Apparently one of the carts on the field got loose and I think there have been some folks injured in this. Oh my! That’s like a runaway cart there. And it finally took someone to stop it,” a shaken announcer is heard commenting on air as the cart rolled and then stopped. “That’s a scary thing.”
Others were seen on the ground afterward as emergency personnel rushed up, including one man sprawled motionless while someone cradled his head. Nearby, others helped a visibly stunned man to his feet.
It was unclear why or how the cart began moving under its own power. Stadium workers were picking up fluorescent orange sideline yard markers and pylons in one of the end zones after the game when the cart unexpectedly took off.
During its race across the field, the cart appeared to roll over the legs of some of those onfield. Afterward, televised broadcasts showed Amendola conducting another interview with a small streak of blood on his left forearm.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)