A game-day stadium volunteer died after a 25-foot drop from Qualcomm Stadium's press level just before the Chargers' Monday night game against the Denver Broncos.
Walt Daniels was stringing phone cable inside one of the announce booths when he fell backward, falling 20-25 feet, according to San Diego Fire spokesperson Maurice Luque.
Daniels, 66, landed on his head. He had a pulse when he was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital with severe head trauma. Early Tuesday, the San Diego county medical examiner confirmed Daniels had died from his injuries.
Technicians and media crews were at the stadium setting up for Monday night's game when the accident occurred. A television news photographer standing at field level heard a pop and looked up to see Daniels fall from a booth that was to be used by Broncos assistant coaches.
Rescuers administered CPR, and, after San Diego police officers and emergency crews arrived, they used a backboard to remove Daniels from the seats at about 2:50 p.m.
Daniels, a longtime volunteer for the Chargers, loved everything about football, according to longtime friends. He lived in Spring Valley with his wife Marilyn and had two adult daughters who live on the East Coast.
"Very good guy, very personable, interested in sports," said Ron Begley, a friend and neighbor of six years.
Daniels never traveled during the NFL football season because he enjoyed being a volunteer for the Chargers, Begley said.
Daniels officiated local high school football games for 45 years before retiring in 2006, according to Steve Coover, a member of the San Diego County Football Officials Association.
"A lot of people in San Diego know Walt," said Coover.