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 familys 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 Ryans 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