Indiana state fair board hires risk assessment firm


INDIANAPOLIS - State investigators say Eyewitness News video could shed light into the stage rigging collapse that killed two workers and five others at the Indiana State Fair.

The news comes as the State Fair Commission met with board members for the first time since the tragedy. There are new efforts to review the staff's emergency response, and an embattled director's charge for 2012.

Investigators from the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration are looking to aerials shot by Chopper 13 for help in its investigation into the collapsed stage rigging at the Indiana State Fair.

The State won't say what they're looking for, but confirmed it's related to their investigation into the fatalities of stagehand Nathan Byrd and ESG Security member Glenn Goodrich.

At the state fairgrounds Thursday, the annual joint State Fair Board and Commissioners meeting was held. 

"As we continue to pray for those that have been injured and families that have been affected by the sudden loss of their loved ones, we must try to heal and rebuild," said Executive Director Cindy Hoye.

"Let us continue as we always have to prioritize public safety and customer service," she added.

Hoye re-emerged after weeks away from the glare of cameras with a call to preserve the historic institution.

"You were true heroes that night, that horrific night. You are stewards of this wonderful fair, and it's your responsibility to lead us forward," Hoye said to board members, praising them for their efforts to provide comfort and shelter to thousands of Sugarland concert-goers August 13th.

Hoye's decisions the night the stage crashed to the ground under the threat of a severe thunderstorm are now under scrutiny by Witt and Associates, a group hired by the governor's office to investigate the emergency response.

Now Hoye reveals the State Fair Board has hired its own team, Venue Solutions Group, to evaluate risk assessment.

"They're also reviewing our current emergency response plan and making updates and solutions to that," she confirmed.

Not one board member or commissioner questioned Hoye or Lacy, but all touted the success of the event away from the collapsed rigging.

Hoye didn't stick around for reporter questions..

"I'm fine. We're doing well," said Hoye as she rushed towards the door. "We had a great meeting today and we're doing well, thank you."

Despite praise for the overall operation of the Indiana State Fair, there was one thing noticeably missing: a financial report. Board commissioners say it won't be ready until the end of October.

The theme for 2012: "The Indiana State Fair: Celebrating the Hoosier Spirit."