Father and son pronounced dead after explosion near Nachusa


NACHUSA — The two people who died and the two other men who were injured following an explosion in a field Tuesday morning in northern Lee County just north of IL Route 38, have been identified.

According to the Lee County Sheriff, Rory Miller, 59, of Amboy and Ryan S. Miller, 30, of Oregon, present during the explosion were found deceased at the scene. They were father and son. Michael Koster, 20, of Sterling, was listed in critical condition at St. Anthony's Hospital in Rockford. Kyler Ackland, 20, of West Brooklyn, was the fourth man injured. He was treated and released from St. Anthony's Hospital, in Rockford.

According to Lee County Sheriff's Department officials, an explosion and fire occurred in a field near Nachusa when a natural gas line was struck by a tractor at approximately 9 a.m. on Dec. 5.

Police say workers were installing field tile in the area when a tractor became stuck. A second tractor was then used to free the other when a gas line was struck, forcing it deeper into the ground and rupturing an underground pipeline.

Koster and Auckland were taken to KSB Hospital in Dixon by neighbors, and they were later transported to St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford.

IL Route 38 was re-opened for travel late Tuesday afternoon. Officials say the high winds actually kept the fire away from residential areas.

The incident remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshal, Kinder Morgan pipeline, the Illinois State Police, Lee County Coroner and Lee County Sheriff’s Office.