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Tuesday
Aug232011

Seventh Victim Dies after Indiana Stage Collapse

Joey Foley/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- A seventh victim of the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair has died following her placement on life support so her organs could be donated.

Meagan Toothman, 24, of Cincinnati, died at 3:30 p.m. Monday, according to the Indiana State Police and the Marion County Coroner's Office.  Doctors battled brain swelling after Toothman suffered catastrophic injuries following the Aug. 13 stage collapse.

Toothman was a cheerleading coach at Turpin High School in Cincinnati.  She was put into a medically-induced coma two days after the tragic stage collapse ahead of a performance by the band Sugarland.

Toothman's family said the organ donation "will 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 wrote in an online journal.  "The decision was made to allow to her to be at peace."

In addition to those who died, at least four dozen others were injured by the stage collapse.

Nearly 12,000 people had gathered to watch Sugarland perform. Minutes before the band was set to appear on the outdoor stage, winds of up to 70 mph blew down thousands of pounds of steel scaffolding, wooden beams, lighting, sound and other equipment.

The crowd had been warned that thunderstorms were approaching and that they might have to evacuate.  But the same announcer said concert organizers hoped the show would go on, prompting many in the audience to stay put.

Two minutes later, just before 9 p.m., the stage collapsed.

Officials said the accident was the worst at the Indiana fairgrounds since a 1963 explosion at the fairgrounds coliseum killed 74 people attending an ice skating show.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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