Posted: March 15, 2014

 In an unusual worker injury case, two teenagers literally suffocated to death in corn and a third employee was injured while working at a Haasbach LLC grain elevator in Carroll County, Illinois. The three were in a grain bin to help the flow of corn while machinery was operating. Suddenly, 14-year-old Wyatt Whitebread began shouting for help as he was being swallowed up by the corn as if it were quicksand. Alejandro Pacas, 19, went after the younger teenager but both became trapped in what was described in media reports as a “sinkhole” in more than 30 feet of corn. A third worker jumped in to try to save the pair but he became trapped as well, stuck in corn up to his neck for six hours before he could be rescued. Recently, a jury awarded each of the killed workers’ families $8 million in damages. The third worker, who was injured in the July 2010 incident, won a verdict of $875,000. One news report quoted Whitebread's father, Gary, as saying: "I want my son back, and that's impossible. I'm happy the jury of Carroll County realized my son was not disposable."