Indianapolis, IN — A “freak accident” left five people dead and at least 40 people injured, some critically, after a severe storm rolled into the Indiana State Fair with strong winds that collapsed a concert stage. The fatal accident occurred on Saturday, August 13, 2011, just as country music group Sugarland was about to take the stage, reported CNN.
According to officials, weather forecasters had warned that heavy rains and strong winds would pass through the fair about two hours before the storms hit. The National Weather Service had estimated the winds to be about 60 to 70 mph.
The strong winds toppled the metal scaffolding used to erect the outdoor stage, which fell into the “Sugarpit,” which is an area reserved for Sugarland’s die-hard fans. The stage reportedly collapsed just four minutes after officials advised the concertgoers to seek shelter.
Responding emergency crews rushed most of the injured victims to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital where they were treated and released. Nine others were admitted and still remained in the hospital as of Sunday afternoon. Three children were also taken to Riley Hospital for Children for treatment.
The five fatally injured victims were identified by the Marion County coroner as: Tammy Vandam, 42, of Wanatah, Indiana; Glenn Goodrich, 49, of Indianapolis; Alina Bigjohny, 23, of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Christina Santiago, 29, of Chicago; and Nathan Byrd, 51, of Indianapolis.
Emergency crews pronounced Vandam, Goodrich, Bigjohny and Santiago dead at the scene, while Byrd succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
Two of the injured victims, 22-year-old Jenny Haskell, and a fifth grader who was only identified as Jade are listed in critical condition.
Investigations into the deadly stage collapse are underway.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Indiana personal injury lawyers.
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