RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond Kickers fan is charged with reckless driving after police said he mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. Two women watching a Richmond Kickers match Saturday were struck by the vehicle, according to Richmond Police.
Near the end of the Kickers game against Tampa Bay, two women were pinned against the railing that circles the bleachers at City Stadium.
Emergency personnel responded, and the two victims were transported to an area hospital. The injuries were non-life threatening, officials said.
One of the victims was released from the hospital Sunday, while the other remained for further evaluation.
Richmond Police determined that an elderly man behind the wheel of the vehicle mistakenly hit the gas instead of the brakes. The Richmond Kickers said a limited number of fans with handicap parking passes have been allowed to park inside the stadium fencing during games.
The driver involved has been charged with reckless driving.
The Kickers released a statement following the accident in which they addressed their handicap parking policies.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the fans and families affected by the car accident at City Stadium on June 17th. It is our understanding that one of the fans involved was discharged from the hospital Sunday while the other is still undergoing evaluations. The Richmond Kickers have the utmost sensitivity to safety at City Stadium. For many years, we have allowed limited handicapped parking inside the stadium. We have launched a careful review of our parking policies to continue to ensure a safe environment for all of our fans."
Slava Yamashev was at the Kickers game Saturday with his son, who is a big soccer fan. Yamashev’s son was playing with another group of kids, just feet away from the incident.
After hearing a scream, Yamashev said he turned to see the wreck near where his son had been playing.
“I ran as fast as I could,” Yamshev said. “I started shouting his name.”
“He came back; he was pale, scared.”
Although this incident was frightening, Yamashev said this is not going to stop them from attending Kickers games. However, he said he hopes the club decides to stop allowing any fans from parking inside the stadium during games.