Amputee rushed in to help during State Fair disaster - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Amputee rushed in to help during State Fair disaster

Updated:
Doug Underwood Doug Underwood
A picture taken of the scene clearly shows him assisting. A picture taken of the scene clearly shows him assisting.
Doug lost his leg two years ago due to an accident at work. Doug lost his leg two years ago due to an accident at work.
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As investigators try to figure out what caused the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair, more stories emerge about the humble heroes - people who rushed to help. One man who felt compelled to help the injured even though he had every reason not to.

Like the thousands at the state fair concert that Saturday night, Doug Underwood had no idea the tragedy that would unfold in an instant.

"There were women and children I saw crushed in front of my eyes," he said.

Like so many, he rushed to help. A picture taken of the scene clearly shows him assisting.

The father of three and grandfather of one climbed through a fence and the wreckage. He felt compelled to be there even though he had every reason not to be.

"It's a horrible feeling. You feel so helpless," he said.

It is a feeling he knows all too well. Two years and one day from the stage collapse at the State Fair, Underwood lost his leg when while moving a heavy piece of machinery at work. The load shifted and he was pinned under it.

"Waiting and waiting, begging them to get this off me, get it off me," he said.

Like he did for the victims at the State Fair, co-workers came to his rescue.

"They were there for me trying to keep me calm," he said.

It's that comfort he wanted to provide to victims at the fair, working with and for others for more than an hour, his prosthetic leg rubbing against his real one.

"It blistered it up pretty good from the pressure of running back and forth," he said.

He does not consider himself a hero.

"We just did whatever we could and that's just a natural reaction," he said.

Underwood says he has no intention of filing or being part of a lawsuit. He says he feels all the help should go to the families of those who died and the injured. As for what caused the stage collapse, he described it as a "freak accident" he believes no one could have expected the stage to fold in the midst of the storm.

Two years later, he is still recovering from his own accident. Now he's dealing with another life-changing experience.

"It changes your life but you gotta keep going," he said.

As Underwood prays for the victims, he also has a unique understanding. He lost his leg, but he never thought twice about lending a hand.

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