The saddest story of Week One of the NFL season happened at Gillette Stadium, where a 40-year-old fan died of a heart attack after a confrontation with a stadium worker over whether his 6-year-old son could step on the field.
The fan, Jeffrey Chartier, was reportedly told by NFL officials before the game that his son, Tedy, could run on the sidelines and take pictures on the field. But witnesses told the Sun Chronicle that a stadium staffer told Chartier that his son couldn’t come on the field and was generally “giving him a hard time.”
When Chartier’s son started crying, Chartier and the stadium worker got into an argument.
“He was saying, ‘He’s 6 years old. How can you make him cry on opening day when he just had one of the most exciting experiences of his life?’” witness Dwayne Hunter told the Sun Chronicle.
Chartier reportedly collapsed when he got back to his seat and was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Firefighters took care of Tedy until his mother arrived.
NECN.com reports that a memorial fund has been established for Chartier’s two children.