SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The devastated parents of a 32-year-old football fan who fell to his death from a pedestrian overpass outside Candlestick Park said Wednesday their son had a “few” beers while tailgating but wasn’t so drunk he couldn’t walk straight.
Janet and Dennis Hayes, responding to reports from witnesses that her son Kevin Hayes was heavily intoxicated and stumbling before the San Francisco 49ers game, said he had walked up a ramp and was turning onto a staircase where the rail was lower when he slipped and fell.
“Kevin put his hand out thinking the rail was going to be there, but he slipped, tried to grab the rail, and went over the side,” Janet Hayes told The Associated Press, citing the account provided by her son, Jeffrey, who was with his older brother when he fell.
The Hayes family visited the site Tuesday, trying to piece together what happened.
Jeffrey Hayes said he was less than two feet from his brother when the accident suddenly occurred. Racing down to the sidewalk, he called his parents as rescuers were loading his brother into the ambulance. His brother already was dead when they arrived at San Francisco General Hospital.
Police Chief Greg Suhr has described the death as a sad, tragic accident and said it was not clear if alcohol played a role. Toxicology reports from the coroner’s office are not expected for several weeks.
The 49ers released a statement Wednesday that says the team is “deeply saddened by the tragic incident that took the life of one of our faithful fans this past Sunday afternoon.”
“We understand that Kevin and his family have remained steadfast supporters for years,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and sincere sympathies are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Kevin was supposed to be the best man at his brother’s wedding this weekend, a celebration the family decided will occur as planned.
“If he were here, he’d be kicking our butts and telling us to stop crying and move on, we’ve got a wedding to celebrate,” Janet Hayes said. “He’d be overwhelmed by the love and support pouring in.”
The family has been 49ers season ticket holders since 1946, when the team was part of the American Football League. Kevin and Jeffrey Hayes had been going to games since they were babies. Last Sunday, as always, Kevin was wearing his 49ers cap and T-shirt, his parents said.
The family said they have not heard directly from the city, the 49ers, coroner or any agency. Janet Hayes said they have no plans to contact an attorney or pursue litigation.
“I refuse to think about that part right now,” she said. “That is way too negative and my son would be ashamed of that.”
Kevin Hayes lived in Hayward, across San Francisco Bay from Candlestick Park, and worked as a welder and machinist. He grew up in San Mateo, attending Hillsdale and Aragon high schools and Chabot College.
His Facebook page was filled with fond memories.
Asked to describe their son, his parents talked over each other.
“He was a …” began his father.
“Fun loving, easily pleased …” added his mother.
“Loved simplicity, loved family…” said his father.
Their son, they said, found humor in life around him, was content with just a couple bucks in his pocket, and thrilled that his brother had found love.
He spent as much time as he could walking on the beach at Half Moon Bay and planned to move there eventually.
“He loved the serenity of the ocean,” Dennis Hayes said.
Janet Hayes said the family still passionately supports the 49ers but she was unsure when they would return to Candlestick Park.
“It’s going to be hard to go to a game in the near future,” she said. “We’re not ready yet. We have to have some time.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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