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Memorial For Stage Collapse Victims Dedicated At State Fair

Friends, family and state fair officials gathered in Indianapolis to dedicate a memorial for the victims of the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse.

  • Victims' Families

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    Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

    Victims' families cry at the dedication of a memorial plaque at the State Fairgrounds.

  • Memorial plaque

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    Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

    A memorial plaque was dedicated Thursday at the Indiana State Fairground in Indianapolis.

Indiana State Fair leaders Thursday gathered with family members of those who died in last year’s stage collapse to dedicate a memorial at the state fairgrounds.

A memorial plaque with the names of those who died as a result of last year’s stage collapse now rests under the grandstands at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Fair Board President Steve Simmerman says he hopes the memorial will help those who attend the fair in years to come remember those who died.

“I will daily pay my respects to the people who’ve been affected. And I’ll remember the actions taken by the first responders and the Hoosier heroes who came to the aid of the injured on the night of August 13,” he says. “This plaque will help me do that.”

Pendleton resident Andrea Vellinga’s skull was crushed in the collapse, leading to weeks spent in a coma. Now recovering, Vellinga says it’s important the State Fair created the memorial

“Because we’re all victims and it helps create a legacy for all of us,” she says.

Vellinga says Thursday’s ceremony is likely the last time she’ll ever come to the fairgrounds.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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