Earlier this month, brothers Inmer and Rafael Rivera Tejada, 39 and 36, and their nephew Guillermo Rivera Tejada were fishing near Starved Rock State Park in Illinois when black powder near their cooking fire ignited, killing all three. According to local authorities, the men were found around 7 p.m. last Thursday about 100 yards west of the Route 178 bridge in Utica. Authorities also stated that they do not suspect foul play was involved in the incident.
“A day that was supposed to be a family fishing outing turned out to be one of nightmares and tragedy,” said the GoFundMe campaign set up to support the families of the anglers.
Attorney Tara R. Devine has speculated that the black powder could have been left over after a bridge demolition (shown in the featured video) earlier this spring and is requesting an investigation into where the blasting was conducted, and if proper clean-up was done post-demolition that could have prevented this terrible event.
Investigations are still ongoing according to the Illinois State Police.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the three anglers. If you’d like to help support the families of the anglers in these trying times, please consider donating to their GoFundMe campaign.