Mount Carroll-Justice is served was the reaction of the families of three Stateliners involved in a grain bin tragedy in Mount Carroll.
Fourteen year old Wyatt Whitebread and nineteen year old Alex Pacas suffocated inside the bin. Pacas jumped in attempting to save Whitebread. The grain company Consolidated Grain and Barge was found negligent by a jury in a civil suit.
They have been ordered to pay families of those victims 8 million dollars.
Annette Pacas, Alex’s mother says “the money means nothing; I don’t get to hug my son again. What the jury did was send a message.” The message Alex’s mother is referring to is accountability.
Pacas says “not only the grain industry, but it sends a message to all employers that they’re responsible for their employees.”
Alex’s sister Ana Pacas carries photos of Alex everywhere she goes. She remembers him as a caring older brother who shared a passion for music with her, and also enjoyed making others laugh.
While the pain of losing her child is still tough to bear for Annette, she will remember him as a hero who risked his life trying to save another’s.
Pacas says “you raise your kids to go to Heaven, and to be good people. My son went in that bin a kid, and he died a wonderful young man.”
In an email sent to Eyewitness News Consolidated Grain and Barge says ““While this was truly a tragic event for the families and the Mt. Carroll community, Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. maintains that it is not legally responsible for this unfortunate incident caused by the failures and actions of the owner and operator of the Mt. Carroll facility, as well as the victims’ employer, Haasbach, LLC. Consolidated plans to appeal the verdict.”