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Former WNY resident injured in stage collapse

A former Western New Yorker was among those injured in Saturday evening's collapse of a stage at the Indiana State Fair that killed five and left dozens more hurt.

Jill Polet, 47, now of the Cincinnati area, suffered "extensive lower body injuries" after she pushed her youngest daughter to safety, according to Cincinnati-based WKRC-TV.

Polet, who according to public records, had lived in East Amherst and Clarence and had once counseled women in the clinic of murdered abortion provider Dr. Barnett A. Slepian, was at the fair with her daughters when the stage collapsed.

Polet and her 18-year-old daughter, Jaymie, were both injured, the television station reported. Her youngest daughter, Jordan, was not hurt after her mother may have pushed her out of the way.

Polet, according to Buffalo News archives, was the Slepian family friend who first proposed the annual Barnett A. Slepian, M.D., 5K Race of Non-Violence and later participated in the race, finishing 15th overall among women in the 2003 race.

Jaymie Polet was a recent graduate of Turpin High School in Cincinnati where she was a swimmer and cheerleader, according to the school's athletic boosters website. She was to attend Indiana University.

The boosters pointed out that "Jill Polet was an active supporter of Turpin High School, its sports teams and its students" on a message asking for prayers for the family.

The fair reopened Monday for the first time since the stage collapsed Saturday night in strong wind gusts up to 70 mph. The tragedy occurred while thousands waited for a performance by the country music band Sugarland.

Despite the fair's reopening, however, several other scheduled concerts have since been canceled, according to Monday's Indianapolis Star.

email: citydesk@buffnews.com