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.”
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31