Mom recounts stage collapsing at the Indiana State Fair

Mom and daughter remain in critical condition

ERLANGER, Ky. - An Erlanger mother and daughter are hospitalized in Indianapolis after suffering severe injuries from the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair. Shannon Walcott and her daughter Jade were at the fairgrounds on Saturday night waiting for the Sugarland concert to begin when a strong gust of wind, estimated at 60-70 mph, ripped through the grandstand and toppled over the tall supports holding up lights and roof for the stage.

Shannon and her daughter were in the second row. When they saw the stage falling, they ran, holding hands, but they could not run fast enough. The metal landed on top of them. Shannon's mom and Jade's grandmother, Colleen Berger, spoke with 9 News Monday night and relayed Shannon's account of what happened immediately after the stage collapsed.

"Shannon could be seen under the scaffolding. She was able to tell them, my 10-year-old daughter is under there. The people yelled, there's a 10-year-old girl under there. And there was people crowding and lifting up scaffolding and they got Jade," Berger said. "And Jade would not be there if they had not gotten her then and if she had not gotten to the hospital right then."

Berger added that because of the quick rescue and fast work of emergency responders, Jade was having surgery within 30 minutes of the accident.

Berger said her daughter is a real estate agent, but has no insurance. The family, as well as other friends, established funds to help the family with medical bills which will add up quickly. She said the work by doctors, nurses and staff at Wishard Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children has been outstanding.

She said that is equally matched by the outpouring of support by friends and community members. She said there are thousands praying, they get hundreds of emails daily wishing the family well. She added that Facebook is helping to share the progress that Shannon and Jade are making.

"We are so thankful and, of course, what we are most thankful for, is the prayers," Berger said. "We are seeing miracles every day so we're counting our blessings."

There is a fund now established to help support the family financially. Anyone can make a donation at any PNC Bank to the Shannon and Jade Recovery Trust.

Berger said one of the most difficult things for her daughter to deal with right now is that she cannot see her own daughter. She is working with her doctors to determine how and when she will be able to see Jade at the hospital.
 

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