PENDLETON — At 8:46 p.m. on Aug. 13, 2011, Andrea Vellinga’s life changed forever. Standing in the first row in front of a temporary stage at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Vellinga had no idea that a powerful wind gust from a coming storm would blow the rigging to the ground. Vellinga and a friend were waiting for the start of a concert at the Indiana State Fair by one of her favorite bands, the country duo Sugarland. Within seconds, unable to even react to the falling structure of metal and canvas, Vellinga and dozens of others were pinned or crushed in the wreckage.
Something had struck her squarely in the head. Her skull was crushed above her right ear. Several other bones were broken. When frantic rescuers, most of them fellow concertgoers, reached her minutes later, she was unresponsive.