Husband changed career after deadly stage collapse at Indiana State Fair seven years ago
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — It’s been seven years since the deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair. Seven people died and dozens were injured when high winds toppled stage rigging onto fans waiting for the Sugarland concert to start.
It’s a devastating tragedy one Indianapolis husband thinks about every day. Thomas McDoor went to the concert with his wife, Brittany, after she surprised him with tickets. Thomas is from Georgia just like the country music duo so he said he’s always wanted to see them.
On August 13, 2011, a warm summer evening turned into a cold one. The McDoor’s remembered the weather turned nasty and the winds picked up. Cell phone video captured the moments before the stage collapsed onto the crowd below.
“We are all worried something might happen to cut the concert short but we never expected something like that,” Thomas said.
They remembered the stage shook back and forth before it fell. Brittany said her husband tucked her head into his chest to block her view of everything that had just happened.
“I will never forget it as long as I live, he said I have to go down there people are going to be trapped,” said Brittany.
The agony in people’s faces stayed with him. He said he saw a kid bleeding from his head so he took off his shirt so he could use it as a bandage. Thomas said he had a hard time adjusting the days after the crash. He actually decided to change his career and become a chaplain at a local hospital. Currently, he’s a resident chaplain at IU Health Methodist Hospital.
“If I can bring a little peace and comfort to someone’s life who is suffering, that just makes everything worth it,” he said.
He comforts families during their worst days and helps people just like he did seven years ago. Thomas is starting residency at IU Health Methodist Hospital at the end of August. He said it’s part of the process of becoming a resident chaplain.