Many questions arising from the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair earlier this month will likely remain unanswered in the weeks and months to come.
Two more individuals who were seriously injured when a temporary stage collapsed at the Indiana fairgrounds last week have died from their injuries, bringing the number of total fatalities to seven. In the wake of these two tragic deaths comes an article in this morning's Indianapolis Star that raises an interesting question, "Should the Indiana State Fair build a permanent stage?"
Sunday August 14 at approximately 8:49 p.m. EDT, a wind gust estimated at 60 to 70 mph caused the Main Grandstand Stage at the Indiana State Fair to collapse, killing five people and injuring another 45. Since the accident, the Indiana Government has steadfastly denied it has any responsibility for what happened. Governor Mitch Daniels has said it was a "freak" accident, a "fluke" that could not have been prevented. Brad Weaver, commander of special operations for the Indiana State Police, when asked whether it was possible to foresee the wind gusts and evacuate people earlier, said "absolutely not".
A 15-year-old Illinois boy drowned during an organized swim held at his camp in Michigan. The tragic death occurred despite the presence of camp counselors and lifeguards. The boy was one of 15 young men swimming in water roughly 10 feet deep when he went under. By the time lifeguards were able to pull him up some 15-20 minutes later, he was unconscious and not responding to their efforts to revive him. He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital where he was later declared dead.
The identities of two Springfield residents who were killed in a collision with a semi-tractor trailer on Wednesday were released. The fatal truck crash involved the driver and passenger of a Pontiac Grand Prix which crossed the median on Interstate 70 and was struck by a semi-trailer in the westbound lanes. The driver of the semi suffered only minor injuries in the accident.
All over Illinois and the nation, people gathered in honor of the men and women who have been injured or who lost their lives in workplace accidents. Workers' Memorial Day services were a time to express gratitude while focusing on the challenges still facing us. In many industries such as construction, worker accidents are a regular occurrence. By ignoring the tragedies of the past, we put today's workers at greater risk.
Two Illinois women were killed on Wednesday when they collided with a semi-truck just south of I-80. The mother and daughter pair were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The truck driver was taken to an area hospital for treatment.
A 43 year-old construction worker was killed in the Chicago suburb of Glenview last week when he was struck by a metal beam. The man was working on part of a new $100 million dollar expansion of the Glenbrook Hospital. After being struck by the steel beam the worker was taken to the emergency room onsite. It was there that the worker was pronounced dead.
The Illinois Court of Claims has awarded $8 million to the parents of two Collinsville sisters who were killed in an auto accident caused by an Illinois state trooper. Judge Peter J. Birnbaum's opinion in the wrongful death case stated that when the trooper drove his vehicle "at a speed of 126 mph he operated his vehicle in a manner that endangered life and/or property of the public." A news story from myfoxchicago.com indicates that the trooper was e-mailing and talking on his cell phone at the time of the accident.
A comprehensive investigation into the effect that fatigue has on the ability to safely operate vehicles within the nations four major modes of transportation has revealed some daunting information about just how powerful fatigue is - and how lightly the responsible federal agencies seem to regard it.