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Runaway Cart Injures Coach Who Just Won High School Football Championship at Cowboys Stadium


December 17, 2011: Spring Dekaney head coach Willie Amendola is upended as an out of control cart runs several bystanders over on the Cowboys Stadium field after Spring Dekaney defeated Cibolo Steele 34-14 during the Class 5A Divison II state championships high school football game. (AP)

A runaway electric cart raced unmanned from an end zone to midfield at Cowboys Stadium and ploughed into several people, bowling over the winning head coach and others after a Texas high school championship game Saturday night.

An emergency medical technician who declined identification by name told The Associated Press that one man who was conscious and talking was taken to a hospital with an apparent leg injury. The Arlington medical technician said he had no further information on the man's condition but he said others hit or grazed by the cart were checked out by emergency workers onfield as a precaution.

Separately, a Texas sporting league official said a male staffer also was injured, not seriously, when the pilotless cart raced across field after the Texas 5A Division II football championship game. That official also declined identification.

The electric-powered cart toppled Spring Dekaney coach Willie Amendola, who was being interviewed near the Cowboys midfield star, along with several others clustered about moments after Dekaney had beaten Cibolo Steele 34-14. Hundreds of people were scattered about the field or were still in the stands at the time.

Televised footage showed a stunned Amendola falling backwards into the cart's passenger seat as it continued racing across the field -- near the end of an unmanned trajectory that lasted merely seconds.

He apparently tried unsuccesfully 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 finally hopped aboard and gained control, stopping the cart swiftly.

"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 during the sequence. "That's a scary thing."

Others are seen laying on the ground afterward as emergency personnel rushed to their aid. One man sprawled motionless was comforted by an emergency technician while, nearby, a police officer helped another 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.

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