George Ryan and the Willis Family

On <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="EVFES000166" title="Election Day" href="/topic/politics/election-day-EVFES000166.topic">Election Day</a> 1994, the Willis family of Chicago was
driving near Milwaukee when a mudflap-taillight assembly
fell off a truck, puncturing the gas tank of their minivan
and causing a fire that killed six of the family’s children. On that
same day, <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PLGEO100100500000000" title="Illinois" href="/topic/us/illinois-PLGEO100100500000000.topic">Illinois</a> Secretary of State <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PEPLT004510" title="George Ryan" href="/topic/politics/government/george-ryan-PEPLT004510.topic">George Ryan</a> was re-elected.
The events seemed unrelated until years later, when it was revealed
that the truck driver involved in the accident got his license
through corruption in Ryan’s office. Last year, on the 13th
anniversary of that terrible Election Day accident, Ryan served
his first full day in prison on unrelated corruption charges.

( Chicago Tribune photo by Phil Velasquez / November 17, 2005 )

On Election Day 1994, the Willis family of Chicago was driving near Milwaukee when a mudflap-taillight assembly fell off a truck, puncturing the gas tank of their minivan and causing a fire that killed six of the family’s children. On that same day, Illinois Secretary of State George Ryan was re-elected. The events seemed unrelated until years later, when it was revealed that the truck driver involved in the accident got his license through corruption in Ryan’s office. Last year, on the 13th anniversary of that terrible Election Day accident, Ryan served his first full day in prison on unrelated corruption charges.

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