Cheerleading coach is seventh victim of Indiana fair collapse

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 22, 2011 4:18 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - A stage collapse in high winds at the Indiana State Fair earlier in August has claimed a seventh victim, the head cheerleading coach at a Cincinnati high school, the school and her family said on Monday.

Meagan Toothman, 24, was on life support after the accident and her family said in a posting on the CaringBridge website that her organs would be donated on Monday "to provide gifts of sight, health and life to dozens who are in need."

"Late last night it became apparent that our Meagan was no longer with us," the family statement said. "The decision was made to allow her to be at peace."

Toothman was the cheerleading coach at Turpin High School in Cincinnati.

More than 40 people were injured in the August 13 collapse at an outdoor stage at the fairgrounds after high winds whipped the grandstand area just minutes before the country duo Sugarland was scheduled to perform.

The first lawsuits stemming from the collapse were filed last week and the incident remains under investigation.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has asked for several staffers to be assigned to the State Fair Commission to assist in the fact finding and documentation procurement aspect of an investigation into the incident.

An outside engineering company has been hired to conduct a structural investigation and emergency preparedness consultants have been brought in to analyze the state fair's disaster preparedness and response to the collapse.

(Reporting by Susan Guyett; writing by David Bailey)


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