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Stage collapse victim's family demands changes ahead of findings


The family of Meagan Toothman spoke out just days before the results from two independent investigations into the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair were expected to be released.

Toothman was at the Sugarland concert at the State Fair, front row with family friends, when the stage collapsed. Her mother, Melissa Oakley, remembers getting a phone call from Methodist Hospital just hours later.

"They asked me for a description of Meagan, so obviously, I gave them the physical description. And the woman said 'No, I need to know if she has any tattoos or any scars. What jewelry she was wearing, what clothes she was wearing.'"

Toothman was hurt badly and nine days later, succumbed to her injuries.

Eight months later, Oakley said, life is still so different for the family.

"Some days and some moments are harder than others," she said. "(Meagan) got joy out of making other people's day. Whether it was just you know a smile, or holding a door for somebody, or you know, going over and telling somebody 'Good job' that was just, that was just her personality."

Now the day is almost here, when Oakley and her family will finally find out what went wrong that horrific night. The results of two separate investigations into the collapse will be released Thursday, and Oakley wants to see changes.

"Whether it's the structure or whether it's the way that, you know, they call or don't call the concert... whatever it is, I hope that whatever it is, that they fix it.

"Not just in Indiana, but they fix it everywhere so this doesn't happen to anyone else. It shouldn't happen to anybody. You shouldn't go to a concert and die because of it."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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