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Rams, Matthew Stafford to pay hospital bills of photographer who fell at Super Bowl parade

Photographer Kelly Smiley was standing in front of Stafford and his wife at the Rams’ Super Bowl parade when she fell off a stage.
/ Source: TODAY

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and his wife said they will pay the medical bills of a photographer who fell off a stage and was injured during the team’s Super Bowl victory parade.

Photographer Kelly Smiley was standing in front of the couple in an apparent attempt to take their picture when she took a step back and toppled off the stage, according to video footage shot by Spectrum News and provided to NBC's "TODAY" show.

Video of the fall went viral on social media, and Matthew Stafford drew criticism for appearing to turn and walk away as his wife, Kelly, rushed to the edge of the stage to check on the photographer.

“We have been in communication with Kelly Smiley since yesterday’s incident, and we are sorry for what happened,” the Staffords and the Rams said in a statement. “As we told Kelly, we will be covering all her hospital bills and replacing her cameras. We wish her a speedy recovery.”

Smiley fractured her spine as a result of the incident and also broke her camera gear, according to a GoFundMe page set up for the photographer.

“She is very thankful and is overwhelmed by the amount of love and support that has been shown,” the organizer, Tim Kothlow, wrote. “Kelly has been discharged from the hospital and is resting at home. We are pausing the fundraiser for now until we have further updates on how to proceed.”

"TODAY" was unable to reach Smiley for comment.

The incident happened during the Rams’ Super Bowl victory parade, held just south of downtown L.A. on Wednesday.

As the video of Smiley’s fall began to circulate online, some people on social media were critical of Stafford’s reaction.

“Rams QB Matt Stafford and his wife watch a female photographer fall off a platform, Stafford’s wife reacts with horror and looks down as Stafford casually & indifferently turns his back and walks always sipping a bottle of water. #ClasslessJerk,” one person tweeted.

“What quarterback walks away after witnessing a woman fall and fracture her back? Asking for a friend, Matt Stafford,” another person tweeted.