Residents of Mount Carroll, Illinois will honor two teenagers who were killed in a grain bin accident five years ago. Today, the Illinois Farm Bureau and the Grain Handling Safety Coalition will hold a memorial service and discuss safety procedures at the Carroll County Farm Bureau. Catherine Rylatt is the aunt of Alex Pacas, who was 19 when he, and 14-year-old Wyatt Whitebread, were killed in the 2010 accident, after becoming trapped in a Mount Carroll grain elevator filled with corn that was more than 30 feet deep. Rylatt says the workers didn't have proper training.
Rylatt says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets safety regulations for grain bin operations, but don't have a way to enforce the rules for most family farms. And, a few dozen people are killed or injured every year in grain bin accidents.
After the incident, Rylatt co-founded the Grain Handling Safety Coalition, to examine safety procedures and train workers at family farms. The group has been working to provide task-based safety training to grain bin operators and farmers.