Turpin community remembers Meagan Toothman

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Hundreds in the Turpin Community are mourning the loss of their coach and mentor, Meagan Toothman. The Turpin family celebrated the life of Toothman during a special ceremony Monday night.

Toothman suffered brain injuries when a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair nine days ago. Her family said they've decided to "allow her to be at peace." She is the 7th victim from the fair tragedy.

The 24-year old was the Varsity Cheerleading Coach at Turpin High School. She was pronounced dead early Monday morning.

However, she remains on life support until doctors can find recipients for her organs. Her family said it became apparent Sunday night that she was "no longer with us."

Monday night was Meet The Team night at Turpin High School, where a huge pep rally of sorts took place. Many folks sported pale blue bracelets that say "MEAGAN'S JOURNEY OF HOPE" on them. The cheerleaders are selling them to help cover some of Meagan Toothman's medical expenses.

It was supposed to be a night of celebration and spirit and it was, with lots of cheering from the cheerleaders and music from the band.

"I just remember her always smiling and just always being there for everybody and always had a good spirit about her," said Lauryn Everett, a former classmate of Toothman's, who also cheered with Toothman, when they both attended Turpin High School.

The Fall sports teams and the band marched on, but were feeling the loss of one bright spirit among them.

"And we begin a moment of silence in memory of Meagan and in support of her family, the Paulette family also who was involved in this accident," said Athletic Director Tony Hemmelgarn.

So they bowed their heads and sat quietly for a moment reflecting before the night's events got underway.

"High-spirited, always had a smile on her face, just fun to be around," said Everett. "We were graduated in 2005, we cheered Freshman year and Sophomore year, but then she was amazing so she went up to Varsity," said Everett.

And when the unthinkable happened two weekends ago at the Indiana State Fair, Everett said she, like so many others who loved Meagan, was stunned by the news.

"No, not at all, can't imagine," said Everett. "What life's really all about and that just don't take anything for granted."

"But the one thing about Meagan that keeps coming back and back and back is how spirited she was, how involved she was, how much she loved Turpin and of course, how much these cheerleaders and anyone who was associated with it, loved her," said Hemmelgarn.

Loveland and Anderson are also selling the bracelets at $3 each.

The band also collected $1,700 Friday night at their Parents Preview Night to support the Toothman and Oakley families. Meagan's brother, Sam, is a member of the Turpin Marching Band.

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