Indiana: Death Toll Rises To 6

A 22-year-old college student became the sixth person to die from injuries suffered when a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair last weekend, family members said Friday.

Four people died immediately and at least four dozen were injured when a strong wind gust toppled the metal scaffolding holding lights and other equipment and sent it plunging into fans awaiting a concert by the country duo Sugarland.

The Star Press first reported Jennifer Haskell died Friday morning at a hospital in Indianapolis. Her uncle, Mike Whited, announced her death in a statement Friday.

“After a long courageous battle, Jenny Haskell died at 8:15 this morning from her injuries sustained from the tragedy at the State Fair,” the statement said. “Jenny’s family would like to thank everyone for their support and prayers during this difficult time. Continued support and prayers for the remaining victims would be greatly appreciated.”

Haskell was entering her senior year at Ball State University in Muncie, where she was studying sports medicine. She had planned on becoming an athletic trainer, Whited said. She had played softball and basketball at Monroe Central High School in Parker City, about 70 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

State Fair spokesman Andy Klotz told WTHR-TV the fair expresses “its deepest sympathies to her family.”

Among the four who died immediately when the stage collapsed was Haskell’s best friend, 23-year-old Alina Bigjohny of Fort Wayne, who had been hired to teach English at a middle school in Muncie. The other victims were Christina Santiago, 29, of Chicago; Tammy Vandam, 42, of Wanatah; and Glenn Goodrich, 49, of Indianapolis.

A fifth victim, Nathan Byrd, 51, of Indianapolis, a stagehand who was atop the rigging when it fell, died overnight following the accident.