A high school soccer referee in Arkansas barely escaped with his life after a terrifying incident during a match.
The referee and one player were injured when high winds caused a light pole to topple over, crashing on to the field.
Footage shows the nearly 25-metre tall smashing into the ground, breaking the referee’s leg in two places.
This is frightening…I would never think of a light pole crashing down at a high school stadium or field. Thank God no one died, but that ref appeared to suffer a major leg injury. Crazy video. pic.twitter.com/2QG6vkiEcF
— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) March 13, 2019
Players can be seen rushing to the official’s aid in the seconds after it happened.
Identified by local news station KLRT as Rigo Resendez, the referee was rushed to hospital, where he remained on Monday.
The unidentified student suffered superficial injuries to the head and legs, and was released from hospital on the same day.
Clarksville superintendent David Hopkins said he felt “blessed” the situation had not been worse.
“It was a bad, bad situation,” Hopkins said.
“We’re just very grateful that we got out of this with injuries.”
Parents who attended the match between Mena High School and Dardanelle High School said strong winds were noticeable throughout the match.
Danielle Meyer told local media KSFM even the school’s football posts were swaying in the breeze.
“It seemed like it was 40 or 50 miles per hour,” Meyer told KFSM.
“I mean, even the goalposts where they play football were swaying back and forth.”
Fields at the venue, Clarksville High School, have been shut down until checks and maintenance on the remaining light poles has been carried out.
Many others arrived shortly after the incident to prepare for an upcoming football tournament.
“When I got up there, I seen that pole laying on the ground and a bunch of people, you know, freaking out, saying the pole was laying on somebody and all that,” Tyler Stroud told KFSM.