Hoosiers help Hoosiers amidst State Fair tragedy

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Immediately after the stage at the Indiana State Fairgrounds collapsed, people rushed to help strangers.  Five people were killed and at least 40 others were taken to hospitals.

Shanda Keith, an IUPUI nursing student, said she was sitting with her husband and two children in the grandstand when the stage collapsed.  “It was like watching a movie,” she said.  “People started screaming and running and you just felt helpless for all the people down there,” Keith said.

Shanda Keith said she ran toward the stage.  “The 1st person I came across had passed away,” she said.  She said she kept going, looking for the next person who needed help.  “We started making boards and make back boards and get them moved, holding their neck until we can get braces on them,” she described.

Shanda Keith said she stayed at the Fairgrounds helping for three hours.  She said she helped about six to seven people.  “The few that I helped couldn’t remember what happened…kept asking where they were at,” she said.  She said she remembered seeing people rush to the stage like she did and were trying to hold it up to help people underneath.

Sugarland fan, Lindsey Hohl said she is thankful her friend pulled her back when the stage collapsed.  She was in the pit when it did.  She said a beam landed where she would have been if she hadn’t moved.  “The people in front of me, I cried for them….not knowing if they had gotten out okay,” she remembered.  “I actually saw employees that I work with running into the pit to get people out that’s ..i wish i was that brave.. i was more shocked,” Hohl said.

Sunday, Governor Mitch Daniels praised all the Hoosier’s who helped.  “Rushing up, I’m a nurse.  I’m a doctor.  I’m trained EMS.  Also, people who simply pitched in,” Governor Daniels cried, “that’s the character we associate with our state.  People don’t have to be paid to do it.  So, I want to say [thanks] to each of them”.