CLARKSVILLE, Ark.– A referee remained in the hospital Monday night after a light pole fell injuring him and a student in Clarksville last Saturday.
WARNING: The video in the report may be considered graphic.
It happened just before 3 Saturday afternoon at the school’s football stadium where the district was hosting a high school boys soccer jamboree with multiple districts in Arkansas.
Superintendent David Hopkins said the school district will continue to investigate the exact cause of the incident.
Our reporter Price McKeon talked with Rigo Resendez who confirmed he was the referee injured.
He said he remains in a Little Rock hospital on Monday recovering from leg surgery. His stepmother told our reporter on the phone that the college student has 2 broken bones in one leg and an injured foot. She said he will have to have at least one more surgery.
Hopkins said they are investigating if any other factors besides wind played a roll in the wooden pole snapping.
Shocking video of the incident swirled on social media.
Charlie Stevenson Jr. said, “When I seen [sic] it on my Facebook page I was like ‘Oh Lord! That is not good.”
Stevenson is a Clarksville machine. He saw the video of the pole injuring a referee and a player from Mena.
“I’m glad that nobody got real bad hurt [sic] or die,” he said.
We learned from CSD that the incident happened during a soccer game between Dardanelle and Mena high schools.
“We’re very blessed,” the superintendent said.
We met with Superintendent Hopkins outside the stadium while crews worked inside to remove the pole.
He said, “It was a bad bad situation. We’re just very grateful that we got out of this with injuries (and not deaths).”
Crews worked to remove the nearly 80-foot pole and large lights from the Panthers stadium on Monday afternoon.
Hopkins said, “Right now the field is closed until we can assess all of our poles and figure out if it is an issue with the poles or what created this problem.”
He told us Saturday’s storms passed before it happened.
“Occasionally we had some pretty strong gusts. It wasn’t a sustained wind or anything like that,” he said.
They’re looking to see if anything else besides wind caused 1 of the 6 poles to snap, according to the superintendent.
“If in fact, it comes back that it was possibly just strong winds then we’re going to look at protocols to cease games in high winds,” Hopkins said.
He confirmed the referee’s still in the hospital with broken bones and the student was released.
Stevenson said, “I was thanking God that everybody made it through (alive).”
It was a shocking Saturday snap on a field that won’t be forgotten.
Hopkins said the district will have the field closed until the other poles are inspected.
He also said they’ve wanted metal poles for a while now.