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20th Anniversary Memorial Service Scheduled for the Amtrak Train Derailment
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By Member Ed St. Louis
February 15, 2019


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 15, 2019

Village of Bourbonnais Remembers a Night of Tragedy and Heroism

20th Anniversary Memorial Service Scheduled for the Amtrak Train Derailment

Bourbonnais, IL – Darkness engulfed the frozen landscape of the northern edge of Bourbonnais on the evening of Monday, March 15, 1999, when the Amtrak train, “The City of New Orleans,” headed southbound from Chicago and collided at the McKnight Road crossing with a semitrailer loaded with 22 tons of steel.

“The City of New Orleans” - a train of two locomotives, one baggage car, 11 passenger cars and two sleeper cars, was carrying 198 passengers, an Amtrak crew of 17, two off-duty Amtrak employees and two off-duty Illinois Central Railroad employees when it struck the loaded flatbed at 9:48 p.m. The tragic accident resulted in the deaths of 11 passengers and 122 seriously injured on that fateful night.

The Village of Bourbonnais will hold a memorial service recognizing the 20th anniversary of the incident which brought together the entire Kankakee River Valley in a time of tragedy. Saturday, March 16, 2019, the public is invited to attend the 1:00 p.m. service to be held at the Memorial Garden located at 131 South Main Street on the corner of Route 102 and Route 45/52.

“We continue to mourn the unfortunate loss of life that occurred here 20 years ago,” expressed Mayor Paul Schore, ”and we continue to recognize the heroism and selflessness displayed here on that evening. The community came together and immediately responded with unbelievable rescue efforts. This memorial service is to once again bring our community together.”

Refreshments will follow the service at the Village of Bourbonnais Municipal Center at 700 Main Street Northwest.

Two memorial plaques were presented on March 25, 2000 and are displayed at the Memorial Garden. One plaque recognizes the evening of March 15, 1999 and the names of the 11 passengers who lost their lives. The second plaque contains the 2000 Mayor’s Humanitarian Award honoring those within our community whose actions were nothing short of heroic.

To learn more about the Village of Bourbonnais and community events, visit www.villageofbourbonnais.com.

Attachment Amtrak 20th Anniversary Memorial Invitation.pdf  (5,136k)
Attachment Village of Bourbonnais - Amtrak Memorial Plaque 1.jpg  (2,216k)
Attachment Village of Bourbonnais - Amtrak Memorial Plaque 2.jpg  (2,379k)

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