Rep. Rosenthal Recognizes Heroism of I-55 Dust Storm First Responders

Today, the State of Illinois and the Illinois House of Representatives honored the first responders who jumped into action to save lives during the unprecedented dust storm that struck I-55 on May 1, 2023. In addition to meeting with the Governor, State Representative Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville) recognized the first responders on the House floor and House Resolution 314, filed by Rosenthal, was adopted by the House to acknowledge their heroic actions that day.

“The scene faced by our first responders, the majority of whom are volunteers who stepped up during this time of great need, on I-55 was more reminiscent of a war zone than the scene of a multi-vehicle crash,” said Rosenthal. “Their professionalism and quick action undoubtedly saved lives, and we owe them a debt of gratitude as a state. It personally gives me comfort to know that when disaster strikes, we have some of the finest first responders in the country right here in central Illinois.”

Those responding to the incident included Assistant Chief Brian Byers of the Farmersville/Waggoner Fire Protection District who took command, and Chief Mike Webb who arrived on-scene after AC Byers and wisely allowed AC Byers to continue as incident commander. The firefighters who tackled the raging fire included Chief Adam Pennock on his first day as full-time Fire Chief for the Litchfield Fire Department, who worked hand in hand with AC Byers on getting the victims transported in a timely fashion, Chief Jess McKee and members of the Carlinville Fire Department who dealt with the removal of the deceased victims. In addition, Tyson Holhouser with the sheriff’s office and other local police who maintained the safety of the roadways, Casey Canter who stayed at the landing zone, and all the EMS staff who shined on this horrible day.

As part of their recognition, each first responder who was on the scene that day will receive a copy of HR 314. To read the full text of the resolution, click here.