Indiana fair stage collapse victim awake from coma


PENDLETON - A woman badly hurt in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse is communicating with family and friends by writing messages on a dry-erase board.

They say 30-year-old Andrea Vellinga of Pendleton began gradually waking up last week from the coma she had been in since suffering severe head injuries in the Aug. 13 collapse.

Friend Kendra Stock tells The Herald Bulletin of Anderson that she cried with joy when Vellinga recognized her and wrote her name on the board over the weekend.

Steve Voss says his daughter's writings don't always make sense and she can't speak yet because of a tracheotomy. She's been at an Indianapolis rehabilitation center for the past couple weeks.

The stage collapse killed seven people and injured dozens of others.

Events held in honor of Andrea Vellinga:

Pendleton Heights High School homecoming parade: Andrea Vellinga's friends will wear pink and participate in the parade through downtown Pendleton. 6 p.m. Friday.

Pendleton Heights Homecoming football game: People will sell For the Love of Andrea merchandise, including T-shirts, bracelets, yard signs, car decals and ribbons, and 1,500 balloons will be released in Vellinga's honor. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Pink Nation Celebration: Outdoor festival/fundraiser with live entertainment, free kids games, food, live and silent auctions, and a blood drive. 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Admission: $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12.