Sugarland likely saved by tour manager's decision

Indiana State Police and authorities survey the collapsed rigging and Sugarland stage on the infield at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011. Five people died in the stage collapse. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

August 15, 2011 4:39:58 PM PDT
It came down to seconds and one critical decision that may have saved the lives of country duo Sugarland and others at the Indiana State Fair where five people died when the stage collapsed.

Tour manager Hellen Rollens looked at the sky and decided to hold the band backstage a minute before 60 to 70 mph wind gusts toppled the roof and the metal scaffolding holding lights and other equipment on Saturday night in Indianapolis.

Sugarland manager Gail Gellman told The Associated Press on Monday that others felt it was safe to go on, but Rollens acted on her intuition.

Gellman says lead singer Jennifer Nettles and partner Kristian Bush are devastated. Bush went home to his two children in Georgia.

Their set was destroyed in the collapse. But they are planning to perform as scheduled in Albuquerque, N.M., Thursday.