"They had just moved in less than a year ago. Very nice couple, both very active participants in the community," said Derek Weglarz, victim's neighbhor.
Last night, Saturday evening August 13, 2011, a stage collapsed in Indianapolis, Indiana. Sugarland was about to take the stage when heavy winds took over and decided to take the lives of 5 concert goers and injure 45 others.
The four who died at the scene were Tammy Vandam, 42, Wanatah, Ind.; Glenn Goodrich, 49, Indianapolis; Alina Bigjohny, 23, Fort Wayne; and Christina Santiago , 29, Chicago. Nathan Byrd, 51, Indianapolis, died at Methodist Hospital early Sunday morning.
According to a timeline issued Sunday by Indiana State Police, at 8:49 p.m. -- about 25 minutes before the storm's forecasted arrival -- a strong gust of wind blew through the fairgrounds, toppling the stage setup onto those closest to the stage.
Sugarland released a statement on their website Saturday night: "We are alright after our stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair tonight. Many of our fans and friends in Indianapolis may not be. Please keep them in your thoughts, prayers, or whatever form of strength you are able to send. They need you. Thank you."
Singer Sara Bareilles, Sugarland's opening act, had just finished her set when the gusts of winds moved through. "We are shocked and saddened by this horribly tragic circumstance," she posted on her website. "My heart aches for the lives lost or injured as well as their families."
As the crowd scattered, scores of fans rushed toward the metal structure to lift it off victims.
One of these people , Christina Santiago, was a classmate of mine at Cardinal Spellman HS of the Bronx. Many people are in shock over her passing.
Christina Santiago was Manager of Programming for the Lesbian Community Care Project. Her fiance Alisha Marie Brennon is reportedly in critical condition. Santiago was also a board member of Amigas Latinas.
Many people heard about the collapse, as did I, and thought nothing of it. Especially when you don't expect anyone you studied with to be in Indianapolis, Indiana and to be one of four who died in such a odd accident. Please I ask anyone who reads this to please pray for her and her family, as well as Alisha Brennon and her family.
When things like this occur, it reminds you how short life truly is and how we must appreciate everyone in our lives. My friend texted me and then called me to let me know what happened. She told me how happy Christina was about her new pet bunny and how she was potty training it. ( My friend later recalled how this convo was a year ago and how time really flies by!) According to her Facebook page Christina had said that it was a "perfect night" for the couple last night.This goes to show you how quickly life can be taken away.
Before I hung up the phone with my friend I reminded her how much I loved her and to take care of herself. You never know when things are about to happen and it never hurts to say a quick "I Love You"
RIP CHRISTINA SANTIAGO