Man Falls To His Death During Bears Game

UPDATED 11/29/10 5:26 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Police believe the death of a Bears fan at Soldier Field during the game Sunday was a tragic accident.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty Reports

Stuart Haverty, 23, of far northwest suburban Woodstock, fell 35 feet to his death from a balcony on the west side of the stadium.

Haverty had gotten up to go to the bathroom during halftime. Friends said he may have hopped over a railing to enjoy a cigarette behind one of Soldier Field’s famous columns before he fell, friends said.

He was a skilled climber who enjoyed scaling up the side of buildings and trees.

Haverty fell about 4:55 p.m. from a balcony between two columns on the west side of the stadium, between gates 19 and 21, approximately level with the 50 yard line, police said.

The flat roof Haverty landed on is about 35 feet below the balcony.

He would have had to have jumped or fallen over a three-foot-high railing on the balcony, then fallen off a ledge that appeared to be at least two feet wide before plunging down.

Rumors quickly spread at the stadium that the man had run and jumped off the balcony, but police at the scene said they believed the death was an accident.

A relative said Haverty was ‘‘a happy kid’’ who would not deliberately have hurt himself.

The room Haverty landed on is about 15 feet high, and the fire department needed a ladder with a basket to get the man down, Fire Media Affairs spokesman Joe Roccasalva said.

Haverty was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

“Unfortunately, there was an incident here on the west side of the stadium from the colonnade level,” said Luca Serra, a spokesman for Soldier Field.

Haverty graduated from Woodstock High School in 2006. He was attending McHenry County College and working at a tool manufacturing business, his friend Emily Heidenreich said.

A big Bears fan, he was ‘‘down to earth, quiet, and fun to go out for a few drinks with,’’ Heidenreich said. ‘‘You could always go to him with a problem,’’ she added.

Haverty’s aunt Marianne Haverty said he was ‘‘a sweet, sweet boy,’’ and ‘‘an average 23-year-old.’’

‘‘I’m just in shock,’’ she added.

Haverty had stacked two sofas on top of each other at his home so that friends could watch games stadium-style, Heidenreich said. He was twice caught by police scaling the outside of a building in Harvard, she added.

On Sunday, the Bears beat the Philadelphia Eagles 31-26.

Contributing: Chicago Sun-Times, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

More from Nancy Harty
  • Robert

    Not a way to go.

  • Chris


  • Nancy

    How about — was a horrible loss to his family and friends. Sorry to hear of his loss?? A little bit of sympathy would go a long way for his family!


    What is sad is that there are people out there who are going to make fun of someone who dies. His poor family and friends. No matter what the case is, the bottom line is that a 27 year old person died. WHO MAKES FUN OF THAT.

    • Marsha

      23 Year old Stewart Haggerty she said….

      They got that wrong with the 27yr old thing

  • Tom Vlasic

    How sad…RIP

  • Amy

    That’s terrible! How can these people be so cruel! No one has any respect these days!

  • Fds Fds

    You should be ashamed of yourselves. Insulting this poor man like this. If what BIg Jerk said is true, then how dare you all insult a man who didn’t have the common sense to not commit suicide. Lord please help all you fools. Lord also help this young man’s friends and family. Now imagine yourselves in the places of one of this man’s family members. You have just lost someone you loved, and you go online only to find insults about what team his was for and this and that. Shameful

    • Roberta Waker

      If you don’t think God exists, why are you praying to the Lord? Besides, God is EVERYWHERE and if you are near death you will probably find him FAST.

  • Jenn

    I am outraged reading these comments which are just plain cruel; full of hate & anger. Imagine that was your best friend? Brother? Cousin? It was a tragedy. Whether is was accident or suicide. Have some compassion. Better yet, how about common decency? I feel sorry if friends & family read this garbage. I think suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. However, depression is a real problem. We shouldn’t judge or make jokes about someone when we know nothing about that person’s life or what drove him to this point. Is this the kind of people we’re becoming? Cold, callous and unfeeling? I’d rather help those in need then to make jokes about a tragedy!

  • Chris

    GROW UP people……these negative comments are obviously from a bunch of losers in life!

  • checkYerSpelling

    to the News copywriter: Correction: it’s SOLDIER FIELD

  • seleste

    all of u who have something rude to say should go to hell. u dnt make fun of someone who dies. remember that could have been or mom or dad and u would not want people going around talking about it

  • brandee

    Hey smartass,
    My Dad committed suicide in 1994 and he was far from being a coward! He served his country in the Navy in his younger year and served his city by being a Lt. for the Denver Fire Department for 23 years. He had demons in his heart to heavy for him to carry and it finally wore him down. Coward my ASS! What have you done lately beside shoot off your big, fat, ignorant mouth?!

    • Anna


      I’m sorry to hear about your loss… From a fellow Sailor, I salute him. Suicide is a tragic way to end one’s life, but no one should be able to judge. No one understands the struggles people go through. Some struggles are worse than others.

    • Tommie

      Wow, Brandee I’m sorry to hear about your Dad. He sounds like he was a great guy. God bless you.

  • unnamed

    It is sad and I hope that all within the family is coping, but don’t hate on the jokers, ’cause the jokes ARE funny nonetheless. If that makes me a bad person, so be it, but laughter is he best medicine they say.

  • Michael Arnold

    It would be interesting if the web stopped being an anonymous forum. People would have to consider their words before saying ridiculous things. Freedom of speech is an amazing thing, but its pathetic how we utilize it in anonymity when we don’t have to defend or stand by our statements. If you are so proud of your insensitive joke, but your name next to it for family, employers, and the general public to recognize your brilliance.

  • mommasita

    brandee,GET-A-LIFE !

  • Rebeccahitt

    how RUDE! Someone is dead and all you can think to say is you would have had better jokes if he was a Packers fan?

  • Rebeccahitt

    I can’t believe what I am reading. A man is dead and all you can say is “he knows he cant fly” and other insults about what team he was a fan of. How dare you!!!!! Like others have said, how would you feel if it was your father, brother, son? I am sorry your father did not get the help he needed Anna. I pray that all those of you that have been negative can live with yourselves. God will remember these comments on the day of judgment. I pray right now that you all realize what you have said and done and can repent and let Jesus enter your life and you can let Him rule in your heart.

  • Babygirl

    WOW.. this is sad to hear

  • did not have to happen

    Ok, so this is real good for everyone foaming at the mouth yes it is sad. But this was truelly AVOIDABLE !!! Or are you not able to accept that. He was a skilled climber so he wanted to show off by hopping over a balcony or maybe trying to climb a part of the area where he was seated. and miscalculated where he was actually at. So yeah stupid mistakes deserve stupid comments.

  • Tom

    I agree with “Did Not Have To Happen”. But don’t woory folks. As sad as thia incident is, you know what will ne also be sad? When the family of the victim looks out the window of thier home this morning and see’s a half dozen lawyers jockying for the law suit that will be filed against the City of Chicago as a result of a bad decision made by the victim. That said, the lawyers will assign blame to everyone except the one responsible for this unfortunate incident.

  • Shane

    This guy who fell was a risk taker, sounds like a real wise axx, too. Full of smugness and macho, invincible. He found out that he is just a mortal, way to go, so full of yourself dude

  • Peter

    This is where this country has gone…. taking pleasure in others misfortunes and arguing endlessly to feel smarter and better about yourselves…. go smoke a pipe and laugh at the wall and have some respect

  • Hes in a better place anyways


  • tim

    This was not “suicide” whos trying to twist things around. He was a “skilled experienced climber” That means he want to be a “show boat” in front of an audiance by trying to take a “shortcut” that he misjudged. And a tragic accident happened because of that. Thats plain and simple. Geeeeez people always twist and take things out of context.

  • meghan

    i went to school with stewart and he was a sweetheart ango got along with everyone. it is sad to have him do like he did. and you will surely be missed stu. all of us are thinking about you and you are in our prayers.

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