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Soldier Field Fall Still Mystery

Soldier Field Fall Still Mystery - Stuart Haverty seemed to be having the time of his life.

About to finish a tool-making apprenticeship at a company that had employed him since high school and already living in his own home at age 23, the ambitious, affable young man was thrilled to be invited to a Bears game for the first time by his boss, Bruce Glass.

Along with four other employees from Fox Tool and Manufacturing in Woodstock, they had headed out to Soldier Field early on Sunday, tailgating in the parking lot before the Bears-Eagles game and feasting on grilled steak.

"We were cheering and having a great time and high-fiving everyone around us and each other at all the good plays," said Glass, who sat with Haverty during the first half of the game in the southwest corner of the stadium. "Stuart was enjoying the success of the Bears immensely."

That made it all the more puzzling for Glass when, just before halftime, Haverty said he was going to the bathroom and never returned. The puzzlement only deepened when, after waiting for Haverty for 90 minutes after the game, the group sought out security and learned what had happened.

At just before 5 p.m. Sunday, Haverty fell about 35 feet from the colonnade level on the west side of the stadium, said Luca Serra, a spokesman for SMG, which runs the stadium for the Chicago Park District. Haverty, who grew up in Woodstock but had been living in Harvard, was pronounced dead a short time later at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

How and why he fell remains a mystery. The Cook County medical examiner' office ruled the death accidental on Monday. Chicago police continue to investigate, though Officer Veejay Zala, a department spokesman, said late Monday that Haverty's death "seems to be a tragic accident."

The open-air concourse has a railing about 3 feet high that Haverty had to have scaled, and beyond that is a ledge about 2 feet wide, so someone would have to take extra measures to get past it, Serra said.

Glass said he doubts media reports that Haverty had climbed over the railing to sneak a cigarette.

Though Haverty did smoke, Glass said he'd warned his employees before the game that smoking is banned at Soldier Field. He wanted them to follow the rules because, as a season ticketholder, he didn't want any "marks" against him.

Soldier Field Fall Still Mystery

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