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Friday, July 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Jury Awards $16 Million for Teens’ Deaths

MOUNT CARROLL, Ill. - A Southern Illinois jury awarded $16 million to the families of two teenagers killed in a grain bin accident.

Nineteen-year-old Alejandro Pacas and 14-year-old Wyatt Whitebread were working in a Haasbach LLC grain bin to help the flow of corn while the machinery was running in 2010. The two became trapped in corn more than 30 feet deep, with a third worker who was rescued.

After a 13-day trial, the jury found Haasbach owner Consolidated Grain and Barge responsible for the deaths. The jury awarded $8 million to each family.

The now defunct Haasbach paid $200,000 in federal fines for more than two dozen violations and paid more than $68,000 for violating child labor laws, according to The Associated Press.

The trial was in Carroll County, 140 miles west of Chicago, on the Illinois-Iowa border.

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