Nathan Byrd was known as a daredevil, a wiry stagehand who would take on jobs no one else wanted. But one thing scared him: the quality of the canvas roof covering the stage at the Indiana State Fair.
“He said it scared the crap out of him all the time,” said Randy Byrd, his older brother.
Byrd was working 20 feet above the stage Saturday night when a wind gust estimated at 60 to 70 mph toppled the roof and the metal scaffolding holding lights and other equipment. The stage collapsed onto a crowd of concert-goers awaiting a show by the country group Sugarland.
Byrd and four others were killed. Twenty-five people remained hospitalized Monday.
As the fair reopened Monday, investigators and the families of the dead and injured were still seeking answers to hard questions: Was the structure safe? Why were the thousands of fans not evacuated? Could anything have been done to prevent the tragedy?