The stampede at Camp Randall: 20 years later
MADISON - It's been nearly 20 years since one of the darkest days in Wisconsin football history.
Dozens of students were nearly crushed to death that Halloween weekend.
Jessie Garcia talked with a survivor, and looks at how stadium security has improved.
"Open the gates, they're getting killed," says a woman in the middle of the stadium chaos.
"We have people with possible serious injuries... We need fire rescue units," says a man over a two-way radio.
The images are shocking.
"I thought we were dead," says a man who was injured.
Aimee Jansen was a 19-year-old sophomore from Antigo, Wisconsin. She and a group of friends were in the 6th row. The badgers beat Michigan for the first time in 12 year and. A party unfolded on the field.
"Yeah baby," yells a football player who hugs another.
Then... Everything happened quickly. Fans rushed to join the celebration.
"There was this surge and all at once i was picked up and i got pushed to the left and my roommates pushed to the right, it was like somebody was closing in on my lungs and everyone started screaming and panic set in," says Aimee Jansen Dluski.
Many in the stadium were still clueless. The band played on.. the song varsity going on as people were crying.
Brookfield native Joe Panos was one of a handful of football players who suddenly realized that things were out of control.
"The girls I was talking to said there were people under them. That's when i knew this was really, really bad," says former football player Joe Panos.
"I was pushed up against a fence, bodies around me, people screaming, i do remember the announcer saying please get off the field," says Jansen Dluski.
"People are very seriously injured, we're not making this up," says the stadium announcer.
"It got to the point where i could barely breathe.. little gasps," recalls Jansen Dluski.
"Holy god, help these people," says Panos. "I just started hauling, yanking people out."
Panos pulled three or four people from the bottom of the pile. They were called pnb's.. pulseless non breathers.
"Their eyes were rolled over, blue, they had urinated on themselves, vomit coming out of their mouth, blood on their nose.. i thought they were dead."
"within a few minutes i could sense something was wrong. Players were coming in, some crying uncontrollably," says Barry Alvarez who was coach in 1993 and is now athletic director.
Aimee walked in a daze to her dorm and then to find her friend, who was resuscitated on the field.
"The hospital was out of control too... There were students everywhere, it was a sea of red," says Jansen Dluski.
"I went to see the girls and their eyes were blood red," says Panos.
"This is what the fence and the area in front of the student section looked like the day after the tragedy... And this is what it looks like today.As you can see the fences are gone.. there are still barricades in front of the student section but with clear exit points," says Jessie Garcia in Madison.
"I know we moved the student section, we put them in the endzone now," says Alvarez.
20 years later Aimee lives in Peoria, Illinois. Married, a mother of three and a lawyer. She keeps a scrapbook from the stampede but admits the after effects linger to this day.
"I think it will always be there, i get leery at concerts and crowds, I always know where the exit is."
More than 70 were injured. Not one died. Aimee knows how close she came to tragedy and see extra emotion welling up when she looks at her girls.
"It so does.. I appreciate it," Aimee says, here eyes glistening with emotion.
In Peoria, Illinois, Jessie Garcia, Today's TMJ4.
That 1993 team went on to win the rose bowl. The players will be honored at the badgers' last home game this year.