December 18, 2011

Runaway cart mows down coach after game

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Tom Bergeron is the Senior Editor for RivalsHigh.com. Send ideas, questions or comments to TBergero@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow on Twitter.

The Associated Press, reporting from Arlington, Texas, contributed to this report.

In a bizarre episode that you have to see to believe, the winning coach and several others were plowed into by a runaway, unmanned electrical cart during an interview near the 50-yard line following a victory in a state title game Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Spring (Texas) Dekaney head coach Willie Amendola was being interviewed near midfield following his team's 34-14 victory in the Texas 5A Division II final when a cart plowed into the group.

Many were knocked to the ground, but Amendola was thrown into the passenger's seat. He tried unsuccessfully to gain control of the cart before falling to the turf about 25 yards from the initial impact.

A field worker eventually jumped into the cart and brought it to a stop.

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 to the Associated Press.

A few hundred people were still on the field, celebrating and talking following Dekaney's victory. Stadium workers had begun cleaning up the field. Orange yard markers are seen stacked in the back of the cart, but it was unclear as to why the cart took off without a driver. (A number of viewers have noticed that pylons appeared to have been placed near the accelerator.)

An announcer, still on the air during the postgame activities, was shaken while describing the sequence.

"We have a disturbance down the field," he said. "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. That's a scary thing."

It was a bizarre ending to the first state title for Dekaney, which upset favored Cibolo (Texas) Steele.



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