Sugarland's Miraculous Save Revealed, Band Plans Memorial
The country band Sugarland can thank their stage manager Hellen Rollens for preventing them from taking the stage moments before it collapsed at the Indiana State Fair last Saturday.
Sugarland's manager, Gail Gellman, told Associated Press Rollens was the one who kept the country pop duo Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush from walking down the ramp at the last second, just as a 70 mph gust of wind from an approaching storm caused the stage to topple onto the crowd, killing five fans and injuring dozens of others.
"Everybody was standing in a prayer circle getting ready to go onstage, and [as Rollens] was walking down the ramp, the stage fell. So her decision to hold them for literally a minute saved every band member and crew's life," Gellman said.
As the stage came crashing down, Sugarland and crew ducked for cover near a wall to avoid the crushing metal. "There was no running out anywhere. No one knew what happened. It was just the moment when your eyes get big," Gellman added.
Nettles and Bush released a statement Tuesday, saying they are planning their own memorial for their fans who lost their lives:
"We have taken a couple of days to try and even begin to emotionally process the magnitude and gravity of the tragedy in Indiana on Saturday. While the path to healing from this type of trauma and loss is long and winding, we wanted to reach out and update you on where we are and how we are.
We are in the process of planning a private memorial in Indiana, to honor those fans who died. We would first like to hold space so that their families can have time to go through their own services and memorials. Until that time we are holding vigil for them. We join them on their mourning benches. And we stand in the gap asking God to offer them peace and healing. For those suffering from injury we hold you up with prayers for complete healing of your own."
The pair canceled their Sunday performance at the Iowa State Fair, but said they will continue their "Incredible Machine" tour in Albuquerque, N.M. on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels reportedly reached out to "Extra" Lifechanger Dr. Drew Pinsky for advice on how to help people cope. "His wife and his daughter were there at the fair," Dr. Drew told "Extra." "So for all he knew, they were part of this mess. He had some very difficult minutes himself."