Westfield High students look to prom, move past stage collapse


Aftermath of collapse from April 23, 2015

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WESTFIELD, Ind. (April 30, 2015)-- It's been exactly one week since the frightening ending to a musical performance at Westfield High School. Several were hurt after the stage collapsed, sending dozens of students falling into the orchestra pit below. Some students are still recovering and looking forward to their prom this weekend.

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) opened a formal investigation into the Westfield stage collapse this week. The agency said Thursday that investigation could take months to complete.

"We all started dancing and jumping around, and before we knew it, there was no ground beneath us. We were just falling," said Taylor Knight last Friday.

The Westfield High School junior was in the middle of the stage when it collapsed. She suffered a concussion.

"When I fell, I hit the back of my head," she said.

We found her Thursday, steps from school, at Twisted Sisters Beauty Shop in Westfield getting her nails polished and eyebrows perfectly done for prom Saturday at the Indiana State Museum downtown.

"It doesn't feel like it's been that long at all," she said, "I felt like it was important to move on. And I'd be fine. I just want to go and have fun."

Knight said she had a few headaches since the fall, but overall she's feeling better. She said most students are looking forward to prom.

But some are still recovering.

"I'm trying to relax and move on from this. My daughter, she sustained a broken nose and some facial fractures and cuts," said Robert McCombs, who talked to us last week after the collapse.

Thursday, he told FOX59 his Westfield High School junior, 17-year-old daughter Claire, had to have facial reconstruction surgery this week, and her injuries will take weeks to heal.

IOSHA launched a formal investigation into the stage collapse days ago, upon discovering employees were involved in stage construction. The agency said Thursday most investigations are completed within a two to three month period.

The collapse is a moment in time Taylor Knight won't forget. But she also won't let it tarnish her junior year.

"Remember the show rather than what happened at the show," she said, "We can move past this and still enjoy our experience."

A spokesperson for Westfield-Washington Schools said Thursday afternoon there will be nothing different about this year's prom given what happened last week.

FOX59 filed an open records request with the school board for any meeting minutes that pertain to anything involved with the stage, like purchases for it or construction on it. The district acknowledged they've received our request but have not formally responded to us.

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