Bullitt women lucky to be alive after Indy stage collapse

Cheryl Markey
Cheryl Markey
Cheryl Ruckriegel
Cheryl Ruckriegel

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A sixth person has died and the first lawsuits are filed in the deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair. WAVE 3 News spoke with two Kentuckiana women who were at Saturday's concert and were hurt in the collapse.

Cheryl Markey and Cheryl Ruckriegel were very close to the stage. Both were hurt and have some medical bills after being taken to the hospital, but right now they are just thankful to be telling their story.

"We were beyond excited to see the concert," said Markey of Shepherdsville.

Markey and her partner Ruckriegel love going to Sugarland concerts, but the Indiana State Fair show was supposed to be special. The pair had tickets to meet and greet the band before the show. For Markey and Ruckriegel, it was an emotional and astounding night, but not in a way they ever imagined.

They were stage right and were close to the platform when they saw a dark sky and lightning.

"Some guy came on the stage about 8:40 and told us you know, there's bad weather," Ruckriegel said.

According to the women, the high wind stage collapse that followed seemed to be in slow motion.

"The stage just started swaying," said Ruckriegel, who recalled it was like a movie.

"I remember hearing, 'Oh God no!' and freezing for a moment and still not knowing what's going on and then it was like utter chaos," said Markey. "I do not know how we made it out."

Ruckriegel was on the ground with a man on her legs. Markey was getting trampled by the crowd.

"I saw a lady trapped underneath from the waist down and she wasn't moving, so I don't know whether she was dead or alive," said Markey, "and you're just like where are you, let's go."

Markey was taken to the hospital with 3-year-old Maggie Mullin, the girl whose arm was crushed in the collapse and was rescued by other heroic concert goers.

"The mom didn't know where her daughter was," Markey said.

Walking away with cuts, bruises and a sprained ankle for Markey, the pair are still trying to wrap their head around how they weren't killed.

Even though the first lawsuit has been filed, the duo wouldn't mind getting some medical bills paid for. However they believe what happened was an act of God.

"We still have our lives and to us," said Markey, "That's more important than the money."

Because the women had tickets to meet and greet the band before the show, they were delayed to the first row. Now they believe those special fan club tickets probably saved their lives.

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