Photographer who fell during Rams parade as Matthew Stafford watched says she injured her spine

A photographer at the Los Angeles Rams victory parade fell off the stage in a stunning scene fit for a movie but with real-life impact. And her friends are stepping up to help her out.

Kelly Smiley was standing at the edge of the stage with cameras hanging from both shoulders when a live feed at the event caught her suddenly falling straight down out of the picture. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and Kelly Stafford, his wife, were standing near her when it happened. Kelly came to her aid as much as she could from the stage and the feed pulled back into a wide shot of the stage and crowd.

Smiley shared the video later Wednesday from the emergency room while she awaited X-ray results and said both cameras broke. A couple of hours later she said she fractured her spine in the fall.

She shared an update on her Instagram story, writing "Feeling ok. Staying the night in the trauma center. Thank you everyone for reaching out." There was a brace around her torso.

The Rams later released a joint statement with Matthew and Kelly Stafford apologizing for the incident and revealing they are covering the expenses for Smiley's hospital bills and her camera replacements.

Smiley is an award-winning photographer who attended San Diego State University and is an "Aztec legend," Austin Gayle of PFF shared on Twitter. She works full-time as a photo editor for the NFL and does work for the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL, according to her website. She was at SoFi Stadium on Sunday for the Rams' Super Bowl victory.

Before the Rams announced they would cover Smiley's hospital bills and camera replacements, a friend started a GoFundMe to help her the expenses.

"Kelly is loved by all who know her and is a well-respected individual in the photography community," her friend, Tim Kothlow, wrote on the page. Kothlow is also a photo editor for the NFL.

Donations through the morning shot up as word of the GoFundMe spread through social media channels. More than $20,000 was raised by 1 p.m. ET on Thursday for two-thirds of the $30,000 goal.

Los Angeles Rams
A photographer fell during the Rams victory parade celebration on Wednesday. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)