Haysville family recalls deadly grain elevator accident from the 70s

Posted: Updated:

Flashing lights of emergency vehicles, and first responders frantically trying to rescue two men trapped in a grain elevator.

It's the same sight Angela McCormick remembers when she got the call that her son Michael, was trapped inside a grain elevator nearly 40 years ago.

"I know that they are hurting very, very much. And it's not going to heal for a long, long time. The hurt is there and I'm praying for them," she said.

The family showed us newspaper clippings from when the accident happened in 1977. Mike McCormick and another man were trapped underneath more than 8,000 bushels of soy beans. The two were cleaning soybeans from a 120-foot-high elevator, which was owned at the time by Garvey Grain.

His mother said, “We had to wait 14 and a half hours to get the bodies, John and Mike, out.”

OSHA investigated that accident, and fined Garvey Grain $560 dollars.

The family believes there needs to be more inspection checks at grain elevators in the future. His sister told KAKE News, "I don't think there should be men going in there because it's happened again. And you've heard about it in other states."

The McCormick family sued Garvey and received just $3,000, but they say no amount of money could bring their son back. Angela McCormick says "I feel so sorry for the families because I know they are going through what we had to go through."

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.