Sugarland’s lives saved by split second decision

photo credit: Stewart Volland

It was one of those normal, everyday decisions made by Sugarland’s tour manager Hellen Rollens. The Tennessean is reporting that Hellen decided to hold the duo back for a few minutes because of the sudden weather change in the area, which lead to the stage collapse that tragically killed five people. When others thought it was safe to go onstage, it was one woman’s intuition that likely saved the lives of the band and crew. Sugarland was being held backstage when the roof collapsed, and the band and crew hit the ground and covered themselves until the dust settled, when they made a run for the tour buses.

“Everybody was standing in a prayer circle getting ready to go onstage, and Hellen, as she was walking down the ramp, the stage fell. So her decision to hold them for literally a minute saved every band member and crew’s life.

Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush of Sugarland have been having a hard time coping with the accident. They canceled their appearance at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday in response to the disaster. Bush released a new statement on their website about the tragedy yesterday evening:

“Our fans just came to see a show, and it ended in something terrible. My heart is totally broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives. It’s broken for all the people who got hurt, for the people who were scared. I thank God for every person who lifted a truss, who pushed against that metal to get it off someone; for every person who used a chair as a stretcher. I thank God for every fan and emergency responder, for everyone who ran to the trouble instead of away from it. The courage of those men and women will forever be with me.”

Our thoughts continue to be with the fans, crew, and band during this difficult time.

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