NEW YORK – A tourist who suffered a broken neck at Yankee Stadium when another fan fell on him is recovering from his injuries, hospital officials said.
"His neck is in a big brace. He's not paralyzed. Luckily, the surgery was very, very successful. And this is a miracle, because that vertebrae, if you go a fraction of an inch, you're paralyzed, or you can't breathe," said Steven Osborne, a spokesman for Montefiore Medical Center.
Paul Robinson, 53, of Kirkland, Wash., was sitting in the stadium's steep upper deck with his wife and 13-year-old son last Sunday when an unidentified fan standing above him took a violent tumble down several rows of seats.
The man crashed into Robinson's head, breaking his vertebrae, then came to rest in the next row.
"It felt like my head had been ripped off," Robinson told the Daily News from his hospital bed.
EMT's took Robinson to the hospital, where surgeons put a screw in his neck to help it heal.
The man who fell was dragged away by his friends and never bothered to apologize or check how badly Robinson was hurt. The family believes he was drunk.
"I found it odd that they didn't even ask if Paul was OK," Robinson's wife, Kathy, told the Daily News. "It's very steep up there, but if it was an innocent trip, they would ask if Paul was OK."
The family was on an East Coast baseball pilgrimage at the time of the accident. They had planned to go next to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and then head to Boston for a game at Fenway Park
The accident was similar to one that happened in April during a Mets game at Shea Stadium.
In that case, a 58-year-old woman suffered a broken back when a very large drunk crashed into her during a fall. The woman, who cracked several vertebrae, is now suing the team and its beer vendor.