Archive for Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tonganoxie grad among 6 killed in Atchison blast

November 1, 2011


Tonganoxie High School graduate, seen here with his fiancee, Alicia Cobleigh, was killed when an Atchison grain elevator exploded Oct. 29, 2011.

Tonganoxie High School graduate, seen here with his fiancee, Alicia Cobleigh, was killed when an Atchison grain elevator exploded Oct. 29, 2011.

Ali George and her boyfriend, Dylan Young, hung out often with Tonganoxie High School classmate Chad Roberts and his fiancée, Alicia Cobleigh.

George called it “a double-date thing.” In fact, George and Young were to be in their friends’ wedding in November.

This past weekend, Roberts, a 2010 THS graduate, was one of six who died in a grain elevator explosion at the Bartlett Grain Co. facility in Atchison.

“He was always happy,” George said, describing Roberts. “He was a spur-of-the-moment kind of guy. He was very caring. He would do anything for his friends.”

Roberts and Cobleigh were to be married Nov. 19, George said.

“He loved Alicia beyond words,” George said.

They also were planning a spring honeymoon cruise in the Bahamas.

George is best friends with Cobleigh, whom she met through Roberts. Cobleigh went to school at nearby Pleasant Ridge High School.

Roberts, 20, was one of three Bartlett employees found during the weekend, according to The Associated Press. Also found were Bartlett employees Ryan Federinko, 21, and John Burke, 24.

The final three victims’ bodies were recovered Monday morning, according to Bob Knief, a Bartlett senior vice president, AP reports said.

Two others were injured in the blast and taken to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. A hospital official there said Monday afternoon that one was one listed in critical condition and the other in serious condition.

George’s mother, Tammie George, principal at Tonganoxie Elementary School, first knew Roberts as a student in the elementary school. She described him as “very quiet and very well-behaved” as a youngster.

Roberts’ death was the third among Tonganoxie’s Class of 2010.

Connor Olson died after a long battle with bone cancer, while Jeremy Elliott died in his sleep from a heart condition, both during their senior year at THS.

“It does really make you rethink your life, what your next move is,” Ali George said. “It makes you think about it again. It keeps you on your toes at all times.”

She said Roberts’ funeral was planned for Friday in Topeka.


angel4dennis 6 years, 5 months ago

My heart aches for Alicia and the families of this tragedy. May God bless each of you.

mom_of_three 6 years, 5 months ago

So, so sad. I can't imagine their loss. deepest condolences.

wowiekt08 6 years, 5 months ago

Alicia, It's visible from the number of posts on your Facebook wall that there are a great number of people thinking about you. The fact that you were at the property on Monday to be with the families who had not yet confirmed the loss of their loved ones says a lot about your character. I continue to keep you in my thoughts every day, and I wish I could posess half the strength you have.

From Mona Simpson's eulogy for her brother Steve Jobs: 'We all-in the end-die in media reis. In the middle of a story. In many stories.'

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