OAKLAND (KCBS) – Donnie Navidad never gave a second thought as he rushed to save a woman who had jumped from the top of the Oakland Coliseum last November, the former Marine said after a ceremony Friday to honor his heroism.
“It’s a human life,” Navidad said. “If you can, you save a human life.”
He and a co-worker were taking pictures at the Al Davis Memorial Flame after the Raiders t 23 – 19 loss to the Titans when all eyes turned upwards as a woman dangled her feet from the third deck, threatening to jump.
“I yell to her, please don’t jump,” Navidad said, but she was already plummeting to the ground. That’s when the Vietnam veteran said his Marine Corps training kicked in, and he found himself running to catch her.
The woman’s 50-foot fall was broken by Navidad’s left side as both of them slammed into the concrete, leaving him <a href=”http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/11/24/woman-jumps-oakland-coliseum-raiders/”>deeply bruised from wrist to shoulder</a>. Coliseum officials said the 20-year-old is still healing, and has said she wants to thank Navidad in person when she is well.
The Joint Powers Authority presented an embarrassed Navidad with a certificate, four skybox seats to a game next season, an autographed game ball from the Raiders, and a commendation.
“I wasn’t really expecting this,” he said.