One year later: Students remembering Westfield High stage collapse

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WESTFIELD, Ind. (April 22, 2016)-  Saturday marks one year since the Westfield High School stage collapse and performers are proving the show must go on.

Dramatic cell phone video showed students falling as the stage beneath them disappeared during the final act of the American Pie performance.

“It was very serious at the time. It was very scary,” explains Lexi Schlink, a junior at Westfield High.

Schlink was one of 17 students hurt during the stage collapse.  Debris crushed her foot badly spraining it. Schlink had to wear a boot and use crutches for a couple months.

Officials figured out the cause of the collapse was a newly built cover over the orchestra pit.  The cover wasn’t strong enough. The prosecutor’s office decided not to press criminal charges claiming ‘the accident didn’t rise to the level of criminal culpability.’

“There were a few girls that were kind of nervous about getting back on stage,” explains Schlink.

Thursday’s American Pie performance was sold out in less than 5 minutes.  The 17-year-old told us she wasn’t worried at all.

“We truly are an American Pie family. We worked so hard for this year and we just wanted to make this year the best year ever,” says Schlink.

Before Thursday’s show the cast got together to focus on the same goals as last year: a good and safe show.  The message has a deeper meaning this year.

“I think it just shows the strength of Westfield and I think the resilience too.  Just being able to bounce back from something almost like traumatic,” explains Schlink.

Just to play it safe, this year’s finale didn’t take center stage.

“We did not go on the stage at the end of the show. We lined up on the wings of the auditorium on the floor,” says Schlink.

This was Schlink’s second year on the American Pie stage, but it was the first time she was able to experience the end of the show.

“This year it was awesome, (we got a) standing ovation,” explains Schlink.

This year there were even more students that auditioned for the show. The school has put in place safety measures to prevent another accident

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