Bears fan's death ruled accidental

Stuart Haverty, 23, of suburban Woodstock.

November 30, 2010 4:48:00 AM PST
A man who accompanied a Bears fan to Soldier Field Sunday said he looked for him the entire second half of the game, not knowing the 23-year-old had fallen 35 feet to his death from a balcony.

Stuart Haverty, the 23-year-old fan from north suburban Harvard who fell to his death during the Bears game Sunday, was attending the game with his boss.

The Cook County medical examiner has ruled the death an accident.

Haverty is being remembered by his co-workers and his family. His mother said her son was kind, compassionate and independent, becoming a homeowner at 19. She said he loved his life and enjoyed his job as a machinist, a job that earned him the admiration of his employer.

"We're like a family," said Bruce Glass, Haverty's employer. "So, needless to say, we're all pretty down today. It's a pretty sad day for us."

Glass says there's a small, close-knit group of employees at his Woodstock company, Fox Tool and Manufacturing, a group Stuart Haverty was a part of for several years.

Glass hired Haverty at 16 through a vocational program at Woodstock High School, where Haverty graduated a few months early in 2006, after taking an interest in machine making.

Over the years, Glass says Haverty proved himself to be a conscientious employee.

"He liked the challenge. He was happy here. He liked our group of people," Glass said.

Haverty, the middle of three sons, is described by his family as sweet and fun loving, and also independent, buying this home in Harvard at 19. He was also a Bears fan, and his boss invited him and two other employees to Sunday's game against the Eagles at Soldier Field.

Glass says Haverty was excited to be there.

"We were enjoying the success of the football game and high-fiving everybody around us and really having a great time," said Glass. "About 30 seconds left in the half, we left our seats to meet up with the other employees, and Stuart said he had to go to the bathroom. That's the last I saw of him."

Glass says it took awhile before he realized something was terribly wrong. He looked for Haverty the entire second half, not knowing the 23-year-old fell 35 feet to his death from a balcony on the west side of Soldier Field.

Haverty's death has been ruled an accident.

Monday, the Bears released this statement: "The Chicago Bears are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic accident that claimed the life of Stuart Haverty yesterday. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. They will be in our prayers during this difficult time."

Glass says he doesn't know whether Haverty fell after jumping over a barricade to smoke a cigarette as some reports have said.

Currently, Chicago Police are conducting a death investigation.


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