Baseball Fan Falls to Death Reaching for Ball

A dad fell to his death at a Texas Rangers baseball game when he was trying to catch a ball in the stands. INSIDE EDITION reports on the tragic story.

A dad attending a baseball game fell 20 feet to his death. He was trying to catch a fly ball before tumbling over the rail head first.

Making the accident all the more tragic, his 7-year-old son was next to him, a little mitt on his hand, watching his dad fall to his death.

After slamming into the concrete, Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter from Texas, was still conscious. As EMTs carried him out on a stretcher, he spoke his final words: "Please check on my son. My son is up there alone."

Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura were also in Ranger park and watched the drama unfold.

Brittany Harris saw the whole thing. Her husband grabbed Stone's son, Cooper, and tried to protect him from the horror unfolding below, where his dad lay dying on the pavement.

"His son cried out, 'Daddy!' He was calling for his dad, and we didn't want him to see what was going on," said Harris.

Less than an hour later, Stone was dead.

Ronnie and Margie Hargis were standing next to Stone in the stands. Ronnie tried to grab Stone and stop his fall, but he couldn't hold on.

"There was nothing that could have been done to prevent it. There was nothing. He just leaned out too far and went over the railing. I tried to grab him but didn't have time to grab him and he just went down to the ground," said Ronnie.

Adding to the loss, Stone wasn't even trying to catch a foul ball. The ball had been tossed into the stands by All-Star Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton. Hamilton made the friendly gesture because Stone was calling for him to throw a ball for his son.

Hamilton is said to be devastated. So are the other players, including relief pitcher Brad Ziegler of the Oakland A's.

Ziegler said, "The man, they had both of his arms splinted, so they were pretty much up in the air. And, and you could hear him saying, you know, 'Someone please get my son, please check on my son. He's up there all by himself.' And one of the paramedics was right there. He said, 'Sir, we'll, you know, we'll get your son. Your son's going to be okay. Don't worry about your son.' " [Source: Mike & Mike in the Morning]

Ironically, almost a year to the day, a similar accident happened at the same stadium when Tyler Morris fell 30 feet from the upper deck trying to catch a foul ball. Incredibly, like Stone, Morris is also a firefighter. Morris fractured his skull, but fortunately recovered.

Stone's family released a statement, saying they are "devastated" and they appreciate the outpouring of thoughts and kind words from a nation that can't believe this has happened again.