The operator of a Mount Carroll grain elevator has settled U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) charges it that broke federal child labor laws when it allowed a 14-year-old to work in a hazardous job that proved fatal.
Wyatt Whitebread, age 14, died in July 2010 when he entered a grain bin at the Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. to make sure the corn was flowing properly. Whitebread and 19-year-old Alex Pacase, who tried to rescue Whitebread, both suffocated when they were buried under 30 feet of grain.
The company also settled OSHA charges alleging 12 willful, 12 serious and several other grain standard violations. The company must pay $200,000 in penalties to OSHA and a $68,125 fine to the DOL.
Families of the victims and another worker who was injured are suing Consolidated, and company officials could still face criminal charges.
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